Tower Hamlets Council has committed to a charter of standards for thousands of unpaid carers in the borough who do crucial work caring for vulnerable people.
The charter highlights how carers will be supported to continue to look after family members and friends whilst being able to lead a better quality of life outside of their caring role.
Mayor John Biggs joined unpaid carers to launch and endorse the Carers’ Dignity Charter, during a visit to the Carers Centre in Stepney on Wednesday July 26.
The unpaid care provided by the UK’s carers is worth £132 billion per year, an average of £19,336 per carer according to Carers UK, and the Universities of Sheffield and Leeds.
Unpaid carers worked with the council and health and social care organisations to co-design the charter, which sets out standards for:
- recognising unpaid carers;
- supporting carers to live a life alongside their caring role;
- supporting carers to stay healthy;
- supporting carers to reach and realise their own potential.
Mayor John Biggs said: “Thousands of unpaid carers make a valuable contribution to community and family life in Tower Hamlets by looking after those who are ill, frail, or disabled.”
“We recognise that unpaid carers have their own needs and we want to ensure that they feel valued and supported in their own right.
The Carers’ Dignity Charter and our updated carers strategy set out how the council, working in partnership will support carers to realise their individual potential, be it in education or in their home or working life.”
“For example, we work with the Carers Centre to fund occasional retreats and breaks for carers, and also support the centre to provide information, advice and advocacy services for carers.”
Cllr Rachael Saunders, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Health and Adult services said: “We are delighted to endorse the Carers’ Dignity Charter and highlight our commitment to valuing and driving up standards of services for unpaid carers and creating happier and healthier lives in the borough.”
Neil Hardy, Director, The Carers Centre said: “For too long, there has been inconsistency in the way unpaid carers are treated by professionals. They have been at best treated as co-experts in the needs of the person they care for and sadly at worst, an irrelevance and a nuisance.
The Carers’ Dignity Charter is an important step in the direction in recognising and valuing services which support unpaid carers leading to a better quality of life as a carer.”
The council also worked with professionals in health and social care, voluntary and community groups, the carers’ forum, Tower Hamlets Together and local carers to refresh and update the Tower Hamlets Carers Strategy.
Representatives from health and social care organisations will also sign and endorse the Dignity Charter.
View the Carers' Dignity Charter at the link below:
There are about 19,356 people in Tower Hamlets, who provide some form of unpaid care. And 3,326 of these are young carers under the age of 25.
A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help, as they grow older.
The council works in partnership with organisations including Carers Centre Tower Hamlets, to offer a range of support to help carers in their role.
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