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Carers Week takes place between 7-13 June 2021. It is an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers who have caring responsibilities for one or more children or other family members.
Caring can be hugely rewarding but it can also be a challenging experience. The impact of caring for a relative or friend should not be underestimated; it can affect all aspects of life from relationships and health, to finances and work. Many carers are facing additional pressures due to the impact of the pandemic and many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support. It is vitally important that we recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society.
Support for Staff with Caring Responsibilities
The University is committed to supporting the increasing number of staff with caring responsibilities for children, or older, disabled or seriously ill people. Without support, the impact of being a working carer can lead to isolation or burnout for the individual, and lower productivity, higher absenteeism or higher rates of turnover amongst staff.
At the University, 27% of staff have indicated they are working carers, an increase of 3% since 2018. Carers Week is an opportunity to remind colleagues about the range of support available at the University including:
- Line managers, who play a vital role in supporting working carers through open communication, understanding and flexibility.
- Local HR teams, who can provide advice on policy and explore appropriate options for working arrangements with carers and line managers.
- Policies on time off for carers and domestic reasons, flexible working and career breaks.
- Appointments with Carers Leeds (see below).
- Occupational health.
- Staff Counselling and Psychological Support Service.
- Mental Health and Wellbeing support.
The Equality & Inclusion Unit has more information about the support available at the University of Leeds for staff with caring responsibilities, including a list of useful resources from local and national organisations.
The University is partnered with Carers Leeds, an independent charity which aims to improve the lives of unpaid carers in the city.
Carers Leeds are running free Zoom workshops during Carers Week:
- Understanding Dementia, Wednesday June 9th, 12-1pm. This workshop is aimed at working carers caring for those with Dementia. Register your place via eventbrite.
- Wellbeing for Working Carers, Thursday June 10th, 12-13pm. This workshop will explore the different ways to look after wellbeing and mental health for working carers. Register your place via eventbrite.
You can book free and confidential telephone appointments with Carers Leeds to access a wide range of practical advice, support and information for working carers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book your appointment. The next appointment dates are:
Thursday 17 June 2021
Wednesday 18 August 2021
Thursday 15 July 2021
You can also call the Carers Leeds general advice line on 0113 380 4300, available between 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.