TODAY marks the beginning of Carers Week and a chance to shine a spotlight on the challenges unpaid carers in Devon face every day.

Approximately nine per cent of people in Devon are unpaid carers; that’s more than 74,000 who care for a loved one or a friend.

And just under half of these unpaid carers spend at least 20 hours per week carrying out their responsibilities, and that’s often alongside working, their role within their family and even going to school or college.

While most carers are adults there are also thousands of under 18s who support family members.

Currently, around 2,400 carers are known to the Devon Young Carers Service but there are others who do not recognise themselves as being carers.

This means many are without support and their caring responsibilities can affect their physical and mental health, wellbeing, work and educational outcomes.

So the theme during this year’s Carers Week, which runs from June 10 to June 16, is ‘Putting Carers on the Map’ – helping all those with caring responsibilities to identify as carers to enable them to access much-needed support through Devon Carers (adults) or Devon Young Carers (under 18s).

This will give them access to a range of services, from information and advice to training, peer support, Carer Assessments, emergency planning, a Carers Hospital Service and access to respite opportunities.

Devon Carers will be out and about across Devon throughout the week with information stands.

Free entry is also on offer to adult carers at many attractions in Devon including National Trust Estates and Seaton Tramway on particular days – full details and locations of the information stands and attractions can be found on the Devon Carers website.

‘Navigate’, a Devon money advice charity, is also inviting Carers to access an online money matters webinar. Carers who wish to register should email:  [email protected]

There is information for Young Carers on our website and through our commissioned provider Devon Young Carers.

For information, advice, and support, visit the Devon Carers website.