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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington

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Brake Champions Carers' Rights

December 1, 2004 3:41 PM

Local MP Tom Brake backed Carers UK's campaign by calling on the 10,773 people in Carshalton and Wallington who look after a sick, frail or disabled relative or partner to check whether they are getting all of the support they are entitled to.

Mr Brake's comments were made to coincide with Carers Rights Day, a national awareness day organised by Carers UK, which is funded by the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund. The aim of the day is to inform carers of the benefits and services available and recent changes to these.

Tom Brake said:

"I am humbled by the unstinting work done by carers and Carers Rights Day is a great way to champion the rights of carers.

"It's a real concern that carers in my constituency may not be getting all the help they are entitled to. Carers are entitled to support - they save the country a fortune and without them the NHS and social care would collapse. Yet they are missing out on vital support, which puts their own health at risk.

"Carers UK's research shows us that carers' own health can suffer as a result of the stresses of caring, so it is vital that carers know their rights, to ensure that they get the benefits and support they need.

"A staggering 2.3 million people in the UK become carers every year. Many people who become carers do not know what help is available and that's why initiatives like Carers Rights Day are so important. All credit to Carers UK for organising it.

"If carers need more information they can call the Carers UK hotline - 020 8880 8125 - for a free Carers Rights Guide."

Copies of the Guide and further information on carers issues are available at Carers UK's website at: www.carersuk.org. Carers with internet access can claim Carer's Allowance online at: www.dwp.gov.uk/carersallowance/index.asp.

Carers Rights Day also highlights new rights carers will have from 1 April 2005 under the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004, which will give carers new opportunities for work, life-long learning, leisure and information. This will help to build on Carers UK's Action for Carers and Employment project which seeks to identify and break down some of the barriers that carers face whilst trying to stay in or return to employment.

Carer's Allowance is paid to carers who:

To calculate the number of carers in a constituency, the population of adults should be multiplied by 0.16. For example: Carshalton and Wallington has an electorate of 67,337 x 0.16 would equal 10,773 carers.

Carers Rights Day is a national event organised by the charity Carers UK with the support of the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund under the EQUAL programme. Over 400 events will take place throughout the UK, with aim of informing carers of the support they are entitled to.

Carers Rights Day also highlights new rights carers will have from 1 April 2005 under the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004, which will give carers new opportunities for work, life-long learning, leisure and information. This will help to build on Carers UK's Action for Carers and Employment project which seeks to identify and break down some of the barriers that carers face whilst trying to stay in or return to employment.