Naomi Long MP said: “Thousands of people in East Belfast sacrifice not only their time, but also their money and their health in order to care for a loved one. Together they save this country an incredible £119 billion every year. They deserve to be recognised for their contribution to both our local community and to wider society.
“I am highlighting the issues on Carers Week to show my respect and appreciation for our carers. I also want to let them know that there are services out there to help them. Caring can be so incredibly demanding. It’s important that carers know that they don’t have to struggle on alone. Most people at some point will become a carer, so this is a very important issue for everyone.”
A number of celebrities are supporting Carers Week and Angela Rippon, who has personal experience of being a carer says: “For a number of years now I’ve become aware of the extraordinary job that carers do throughout this country. I feel that it’s important that anybody who has any knowledge at all stands up and be counted for them and make the job that they do public, because they should not be invisible, they should be out there and being seen as the heroes and heroines that they are.
“It’s a strain that people accept willingly and lovingly, and if they’re prepared to do that, I think that as a civilised nation we should be prepared to do something in return.”
Other celebrities supporting this campaign include Dame Judi Dench, Sir David Jason OBE, Jack Charlton OBE and Martin Lewis.
Carers Week is organised by a partnership of 9 national charities: Age UK, Carers UK, Counsel & Care, Crossroads Care, Dementia UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK, and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.
For more information about local events and activities taking place as part of Carers Week, visit www.carersweek.org.