CARERS have been given a well-deserved break during a week which celebrates their hard work.
Sixty people from Sunderland Carers’ Centre were taken on a day trip to Harrogate.
The visit has become an annual event during National Carers’ Week, which will run until Sunday and gives some of the 32,000 in Sunderland the chance to take a breather.
Staff at the centre say for many people caring for someone takes a huge amount of time and energy, and can leave them exhausted.
New information from the Royal College of General Practitioners shows 40 per cent of all carers experience psychological distress or depression at some time as a result of their situation.
Kevin Divine, training and marketing manager at Sunderland’s Carers’ Centre, said the week is important to reward the carers’ work.
“Carers’ Week is all about celebrating the contribution they make,” he said.
“Carers save the economy £119billion a year and we believe it’s important they have a break from that caring role.
“They really look forward to the trip, and it has become an important part of the week for them.”
Carers include those who look after family members who are frail, disabled, have a long-term illness or drug and alcohol problems.
Wendy Greenhow, development worker at the centre, said: “A day trip away might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people but for many carers it isn’t possible to leave the person they look after.
“They need to be able to get home if an emergency occurs, and we can offer other ways to get more regular breaks closer to home.
“Through our breaks and opportunities scheme, they are encouraged to think of the type of break or opportunity that would work for their situation, anything to give them that crucial time out.”
Carers’ Week is a national event to raise awareness and to show support for the UK’s 6.5million carers.
This year it is supported by Sainsbury’s, and Sunderland Carers’ Centre will be holding information stalls across the company’s Wearside stores throughout the week to provide people with information about caring and the venue.