Ed Davey and National Carers Rights Day

The pandemic has opened all our eyes to the importance of carers, whether employed in the care sector or unpaid people who care for family members.

Today is National Carers Rights Day, an event co-ordinated by Carers UK. Their research has unearthed the astonishing statistic that unpaid carers in the UK have saved the state £530 million every day of the pandemic – that is a staggering £135 billion so far.

It is essential that carers know their rights – what they are entitled to and sources of help. There are plenty of pointers here.

During the leadership campaign Ed Davey made respect and support for carers a key issue. He has been doing some serious work on the policy area since then, inspired by his own experiences as a carer, first for his mother when a teenager, and more recently for his disabled son.

He has now launched a campaign to raised the Carer’s Allowance by £1000 per year.

Ed has also set up a survey to look specifically at the needs of unpaid carers – do please fill it in, whether or not you have direct experience of being a carer or of being cared for by others.


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • jayne Mansfield 27th Nov '20 - 1:49am

    @ Mary,
    There are so many ‘days ‘ now that supporters hope will bring awareness to the population, so many that I do wonder whether they are effective in achieving their aim.

    Are there better ways of raising awareness to issues now that there are so many of them?

    The lack of acknowledgement and support for carers is something that concerns me greatly.

    One of the most tragic issues, is that of children who are carers for adult relations. They willingly take on the role and speak with such heartbreaking maturity. But who provides the structure and support that allows them to be children?

  • @Jayne Mansfield. You are quite right to highlight young carers. I don’t know what the national picture is but in my neck of the woods they do have support through a Young Carers Network – https://www.kingstonyoungcarers.org.uk/

  • Helen Dudden 28th Nov '20 - 1:23pm

    I think we should highlight the many failures of the system.
    Not only do carers have a responsibility, but we a fight with the system.
    My Power Wheelchair has a fault, intermittent over six months, but yesterday was not a good day. I was enjoying the company of my daughter, my wheelchair started playing up, we were stuck in Southgate Bath. The speed drops down so low, it hardly moves. Freezing cold, and I needed the bathroom. I know one large store lets us use the disabled toilet if we ask. So we sort of managed, by lots of stopping and starting, that sort of works. The batteries are a pain, I’ve had several.
    From a well known disability equipment supplier, I was told I have to wait until Monday, it seems disability is only during weekday office hours, so wheelchair out of action. No shopping or appointments, you are in lockdown. Taxis aren’t an awful lot of use, if walking and getting into them is difficult.
    I’m stuck. There are Mobility supply lenders but, not on a Friday after 4pm.
    This contract costs me £50 a week.
    Being a carer is not easy, being disabled isn’t easy either.
    Housing is another issue, Power Wheelchairs can be viewed as a fire hazzard. Some social housing providers just don’t like them, we need more law to clarify the difference between a scooter and a medical wheelchair.
    I’ve just purchased a wheelchair to be delivered on Tuesday. I like the freedom it gives me, also the freedom it gives others that care for me.
    We still do not have a society that accepts disability as a norm.

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