Sheffield social care must have more support and more funding, says campaigner

A campaigner says government support for social care is more important than ever during the current coronavirus crisis.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 12:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 3:12 pm

Chris Sterry, who runs a support group for carers and sits on a number of boards in Sheffield, launched a petition a few months ago.

He said: "People may be wondering why I am promoting this petition as we are in the coronavirus crisis and now social care is appearing to have some signs of recognition.

“It is because of this recognition. I appreciate the government is concentrating on coronavirus, but social care has been forgotten for many years and certainly with regards to funding.

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Chris Sterry

“Yes, the government has plenty to deal with currently, but more should have been done for social care well before the coronavirus situation.

“I have been involved with social care, be it with regards to family or on a wider basis for over some 40 years and funding was always an issue and the last 10 years has made the situation much worse.

“This section of care has been devoid of enough money for far too long and austerity measures only compounded this.

“So, the recognition is an impetus on which to build upon and to ensure the recognition continues when coronavirus has been overcome.”

Mr Sterry says he is also campaigning for better salaries and working conditions for staff.

He said: “The starting salary for all care workers should be at least the Real Living Wage and not, as currently, the National Living Wage or for some under 25, the Minimum Wage.

“Lack of funding for social care is a major problem and leads to a lack of people wishing to come into the profession due to the abysmal rate of pay.

“My own family and many other families rely on social care to help us look after our relatives who have major needs.

“If the crisis in social care is not met, this will then increase the crisis in health as it causes stress and exhaustion for family members trying to provide care.”

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