NEEDLESS to say, it has been a very busy month for Stephen Metcalfe as he settles into the role of MP. We caught up with Stephen to discuss a number of issues. But one issue that Stephen feels passionately about is Caring.
Stephen has teamed up with ITV’s This Morning celebrity GP, Dr Chris Steele MBE, to support this year’s Carers Week (14 – 20 June) and celebrate the contribution made by people in South Basildon & East Thurrock and throughout the UK, who provide unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled.
The theme of Carers Week is ‘A Life of My Own’ with calls for greater understanding and support for the army of carers who provide vital care for their families, friends and communities. In doing so, many sacrifice much in their own lives, unable to do the little things that most of us take for granted. All too often, these unsung heroes also suffer ill health.
Stephen met up with Dr Chris at the House of Commons to pay tribute to carers, and to urge that they receive more support in their caring roles. Stephen said:
“A trip to the cinema, or even a full night’s sleep – these are luxuries for many of the thousands of carers in South Essex. I am supporting Carers Week and all those helping to raise awareness of carers, and their priceless contribution they make to our local community. I hope that as a result of Carers Week, many more carers will find out about services and support that exist to help them.
Dr Chris, who has long been a champion for the health and wellbeing of the country’s millions of carers, said: “I am delighted to give my continuing support for Carers Week and its focus on a carer’s right to ‘A life of my own’. Many non-carers take their free-time for granted, whether it’s going to the cinema or meeting with family and friends. As a GP I have met many carers who have never received any help or respite.
I know how carers’ own health and well-being has suffered as a consequence and just how isolated they can feel. Who is caring for the carers? Change is needed at grassroots level and Carers Week is vital in raising awareness and promoting carers’ issues.”
Other celebrities supporting Carers Week, all of whom have had experience of caring, include: Lynda Bellingham, Cilla Black, Jonathan Dimbleby, Gloria Hunniford, Sir David Jason, Claire King, Phyllida Law, Miriam Margolyes, Esther Rantzen, Angela Rippon and Tony Robinson.
Carers Week is organised by a partnership of 7 national charities: Carers UK, Counsel and Care, Crossroads Care, Help the Hospices, Macmillan Cancer Support, Parkinson’s UK and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.
For information about Carers Week, including local events and activities, and where carers can find information and assistance, visit www.carersweek.org or call 0845 241 2582.