Warwickshire homecare provider kickstarts 'You Are Not Alone’ support campaign for unpaid carers

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An award-winning Warwickshire-based homecare provider marked the launch today of its new campaign, ‘You Are Not Alone’, with the unveiling of their new online resource hub and dedicated support helpline aimed at providing free advice and support to the estimated five million family carers across the country, including those based in Worcester.

GoodOaks Homecare, which employs more than 400 staff in 22 franchises across Central and Southern England, supporting over 500 individuals in need of care, launched the initiative today – just two weeks after the Carer’s Leave Act, which gives carers the right to a week of unpaid leave to provide or arrange care for a dependent, came into effect across Britain.

The launch also comes in the wake of national media coverage of polling - commissioned by GoodOaks for the campaign – of 1,000 unpaid carers across England, which found that more than half felt unable to meet their own health and wellbeing needs, and almost 90 per cent lacked a ‘good understanding’ of the Carer’s Leave Act’s provisions.

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In the West Midlands, just eight per cent of unpaid carers polled had a 'good understanding’ of the Act, and 50 per cent felt unable to meet their own health and wellbeing needs.

The campaign offers an online resource and advice hubThe campaign offers an online resource and advice hub
The campaign offers an online resource and advice hub

Online resource hub and centralised helpline:

Aimed at providing urgently needed support for family carers, the ‘You Are Not Alone’ campaign’s hub provides a range of services designed specifically for those providing care for their loved ones.

Among its offerings is a centralised helpline for family carers who wish to speak one-to-one with experts, providing a direct opportunity to talk with and receive advice from care professionals with extensive sector experience.

Also included are a range of informative video guides, tailored towards answering the key questions that individuals often have when it comes to providing care for their loved ones. One guide, for example, spells out in detail the funding options available to family carers, as well as comprehensive explanations of each individual support option to which carers may be entitled.

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Targeted at health and wellbeing, the campaign also includes a guide on the practical strategies carers and their loved ones can employ to prevent falls and improve balance, as well as guidance on supporting nutrition and hydration at home.

The website offers visitors a selection of explanatory videos from experts, ranging from healthcare specialists to solicitors, including effective methods of financial planning both in advance of care provision as well as during and after.

Polling uncovers a ‘quiet crisis’ among family carers:

Polling commissioned by GoodOaks has uncovered a ‘quiet crisis’ unfolding across the country for many family carers.

It revealed that more than half (55 per cent) of carers felt unable to meet their own health and wellbeing needs, often instead prioritising meeting the needs of those they cared for.

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It also found that just 12 per cent of unpaid carers across England felt that they had a “good understanding” of the provisions entailed within the newly introduced Carer’s Leave Act. Though this was the least well-known of support options offered, others such as Carer’s Credit, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payments and NHS continuing healthcare were well-understood by only a minority.

The Caring Unseen report also found the survey revealed the striking disparity in emotional wellbeing between carers and the public. Unpaid carers were more than 50 per cent more likely to feel ‘stressed’ than the public, and twice as likely to feel lonely.

Damien Green MP, Chair of the APPG on Adult Social Care, who contributed a foreword to the report, described it as “not a cheerful and optimistic read”, whose findings will “make politicians of all parties uneasy”, and act a “reminder to policymakers that the millions of unpaid carers deserve not just recognition but practical help to make their lives more comfortable.”

Commenting on the launch of the You Are Not Alone campaign’s website, Ben Ashton, Founder of GoodOaks Homecare, said:

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On behalf of the whole team here at GoodOaks, we are delighted to officially launch the ‘You Are Not Alone’ campaign to provide free help, information, advice and support to the millions of family carers across the country.”

“Though we knew already that many face health and wellbeing challenges, and often struggle to access the resources that could prove lifechanging, our recent polling uncovered just how widespread these issues are.

“We hope that our range of options will provide support, respite and empowerment to family carers in all manner of scenarios. We know how much they sacrifice for those they care for, and hope that the You Are Not Alone campaign can go some way to help.”