Extra helpÂ for Sheffield's unpaid carers
Lord David Blunkett joined other high profile figures from the city met at the Quaker meeting House for theÂ Sheffield Carers Centre 'Carer Card' launch. Â
Local and national businesses who are rewarding the efforts of Sheffield's 60,000 unpaid carers through the new Carer Card.
The Carer Card launch featured not only Lord Blunkett, but other high profile speakers from the city including Richard Wright of the Chamber of Commerce and Coun Chris Peace, cabinet member for Health and Social Care.
Chief executive of Sheffield Carers Centre, Pauline Kimantas, said, 'The cash value of carers' unpaid contribution to the health and social care system in Sheffield has been put at Â£1,186 million and we believe the Carer Card can be a small way for this city to recognise and reward carers' incredible work looking after the most vulnerable people in Sheffield.'
The Carer Card provides discounts on products and services, from washing machines and Butlins Holidays, to yoga classes and cafÃ© lunches. Hannah Downing, 32 from Malin Bridge, looks after her mother who has young early onset Alzheimer's: 'in order to help care for my mum I've taken a significant drop in salary to work part time, therefore luxuries are not usually affordable. Having a discount card may help myself and other carers treat themselves a little more often.'
Chief Executive of Sheffield Carers Centre, Pauline Kimantas said, 'The cash value of carers' unpaid contribution to the health and social care system in Sheffield has been put at Â£1,186 million and we believe the Carer Card can be a small way for this city to recognise and reward carers' incredible work looking after the most vulnerable people in Sheffield.'
The Carer Card is provided to any carer registered with Sheffield Carers Centre. There are currently more than 10,000 carers getting information or support from the Centre. The charity is commissioned by the Council to provide services to adults who care unpaid for relatives or friends who could not manage without their help. Hannah, who has been caring for three-and-a-half years said: 'It has been great to have a listening ear whenever you need it, free advice and support is only a phone call or email away.'
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The businesses involved are keen to help recognise the hard work of carers. Sandra Beresford of the Shan Tung Pei Tai Chi School is offering carers tai chi lessons 'to provide a gentle exercise which will make them feel good and relaxed.' Abi Golland of Street Food Chef said that: 'We know that carers do a huge and important job in our communities, and often it goes unnoticed or un-thanked.'
Business liaison worker at Sheffield Carers Centre, Stephanie Lowe, said: 'we're getting conscientious local businesses on board to support unpaid carers and, at the same time, reach lots of potential customers.'
The reverse of the Carer Card serves as the Carer Emergency Card. Carers provide the names of two people to contact if the carer is incapacitated or involved in an emergency, so that the person they care for is looked after.
Any unpaid carer who supports a family member or friend can register with Sheffield Carers Centre to receive a card. To get a card visit www.sheffieldcarers.org.uk/carer-card or call the Carer Advice Line 0114 272 8362.
To find out more on the Carers Centre or the scheme visit www.sheffieldcarers.org.uk/carer-card website.
Carers and businesses can find information about the Carer Card by visiting www.sheffieldcarers.org.uk/carer-cardÂ website.