One in nine have caring roles in Sunderland

One in nine people in Sunderland are providing unpaid care for ill, disabled and elderly relatives and friends, according to new figures.

One in nine are unpaid carers.
One in nine are unpaid carers.

Data from the 2021 census shows 29,217 people in the area were looking after someone without being paid - 11.1% of the population.

The figures represent a fall in numbers from the previous census in 2011 - when 12.5% of people in the area were providing unpaid care – but the charity Carers UK says many people do not identify as ‘carers’, – considering themselves to be a “partner, husband, wife, son, daughter, good friend or neighbour.”

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In Sunderland, 17,499 people were providing more than 20 hours of unpaid care a week in 2021 – including 10,396 people doing so for more than 50 hours a week.

In England and Wales, the proportion of people providing between 20 and 49 hours of care each week rose from 1.5% to 1.9%, while the proportion caring for more than 50 hours a week rose slightly from 2.7% to 2.8%.

Helen Walker, chief executive Carers UK said carers need to be supported through a National Carers Strategy.

She said: “Without the support provided by unpaid carers our health and social care systems would quite simply collapse. It is vital the Government recognises the pressing needs of this huge swathe of people.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Health and Social Care said: “The Government has prioritised health and social care, with up to £7.5bn available over the next two years to support adult social care services – the biggest funding increase in history.