Old Bexley and Sidcup MP, James Brokenshire, has teamed up with GMTV news reporter and presenter John Stapleton to support this year's Carers Week (14 - 20 June) and celebrate the contribution made by people in Old Bexley and Sidcup, 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.
James Brokenshire met up with John Stapleton at the House of Commons to pay tribute to carers, and to urge that they receive more support in their caring roles. James Brokenshire said:
"A trip to the cinema, or even a full night's sleep - these are luxuries for many of the thousands of carers in Old Bexley and Sidcup. 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.
John Stapleton, who has cared for both his wife and his mother, said:
"Working without pay and often with little recognition - many carers give up their lives as they once knew them, but never give up on caring. They are not the forgotten few, but the forgotten millions. This Carers Week let's speak up for carers - let's not leave them isolated and lonely, financially, physically and emotionally broke. Let's start caring for the carers, give them back a life of their own."
Other celebrities supporting Carers Week, all of whom have had experience of caring, include: Lynda Bellingham, Cilla Black, Jonathan Dimbleby, Sir David Jason, Claire King, Phyllida Law, Miriam Margolyes, 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