NEIL Hamilton, Leader of UKIP Wales and AM for Mid & West Wales, is backing a campaign to raise awareness of caring in his Region.

This week is Carers Week and he has pledged his support to an initiative to highlight the challenges carers face, and recognise the enormous contribution carers make to families and communities throughout the UK.

There are 6.5 million people in the UK providing unpaid care for an ill, older or disabled family member or friend, which equates to 1 in 8 of constituents.

Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for Rural Affairs, said:“I am very aware of the enormous contribution made by unpaid carers, and their value to the nation as a whole cannot be underestimated.

“I welcome this annual Carers Week and I am sure it will be hugely beneficial in raising the profile of the army of carers, who make such an invaluable contribution to families and communities throughout the UK.

“Without the right support, caring can have a devastating impact on individuals and cause ill-health, poverty and social isolation. If caring is intensive and unsupported, people can struggle to hold down a job, get a decent night’s sleep and maintain relationships with other family members and friends.

“This is why it is so vital that the population at large is aware of the situation and of how they can help.  Sometimes, a small gesture or help can make all the difference to a carer who is struggling.

“I am pledging my support for Carers Week and will be doing everything I can to raise awareness throughout my Mid & West Wales Region.”

Neil Hamilton AM

Carers Week is supported by eight major charities and this year will be encouraging communities to become more care friendly.

They are asking politicians, organisations, services and employers to pledge their support to help carers be healthy and connected.

Carer friendly communities are aware of the part played by unpaid carers within their community, encouraging everyone, whether employers, public services, local amenities or businesses, to do something to make life better for carers.

Action could include putting employment policies in place to support carers, such as care leave or flexible working policies and GP surgeries offering appointments that fit around caring responsibilities.

For more information and to pledge your support go to www.carersweek.org/getinvolved/pledges.

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