Three new reports on partnership working between faith and local government.

Caring Behind Closed Doors – new report from Carers UK

Carers UK have released new research, ‘Caring Behind Closed Doors: the forgotten families of the coronavirus outbreak’, looking at the impact the coronavirus crisis has had on the lives of unpaid carers in the UK.

You can read the report here.

The findings, based on the responses of over 5,000 current and former carers, show that the coronavirus pandemic is placing additional stress on unpaid carers, many of whom were already stretched to breaking point pre-crisis.

The key findings from the report show:

  • 70% of unpaid carers in the UK are picking up even more care for older, sick or disabled relatives; on average, carers are taking on an extra 10 hours of care a week;
  • A third (35%) of unpaid carers are providing more care because their local care and support services have been reduced or closed;
  • More than half (55%) of unpaid carers feel overwhelmed managing their caring responsibilities during the outbreak, and are worried about burning out in the coming weeks;
  • 81% of unpaid carers are having to spend more money during the outbreak. The top increases in expenditure include spending more on food (72%) – due to lack of supermarket delivery slots and need for specialist food – and household bills (50%).

As well as asking the Government to acknowledge the huge efforts of unpaid carers caring for disabled, older and ill family members and friends during this pandemic – carers desperately want paid care staff to have better access to testing and personal protective equipment, as well as wanting access themselves, so they can keep the people they care for safe.

Since carers are experiencing increased financial costs, Carers UK are also calling upon the Government to raise the level of Carer’s Allowance – the main benefit for people caring unpaid for 35 hours or more each week. Carer’s Allowance is just £67.25 a week, the lowest benefit of its kind.

Any feedback that you wish to share with Carers UK about carers would be most welcome. Equally if there are specific questions that you have regarding the report, please contact Ruby Peacock, Head of Policy and Public Affairs – [email protected] / 020 7378 4942