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Making Caring Visible and Valued

7th June, 2021

Celebrating Carers Week 2021 7-13 June 2021 ‘Making Caring Visible and Valued’

There are 13.6 million people providing unpaid care in the UK, that amounts to 1 in 4 adults.  In the workplace, this means that combining paid work with caring is the experience of many workers across all occupational groups.  This makes caring an issue in almost every workplace and a feature of working life that all employers, managers and supervisors need to be prepared for.

Based on the Swansea University 2020 staff culture survey there are 167 staff who self-report that they are carers. We anticipate however, that we have approximately 650 staff carers so we know we need to have more awareness raising to do across the university to make care visible and valued.  That is why we are showing our support for 2021 Carers Week which runs from 7-13 June, this year’s campaign theme is Making Care Visible and Valued

In line with Employers for Carers Swansea University defines a carer as;

"Carers are employees with caring responsibilities that have an impact on their working lives. These employees are responsible for the care and support of relatives or friends who are ill, vulnerable, have a disability, physical or mental health difficulties or struggle with substance misuse or addiction”. 

We recognise that carers can be caring for a dependant of any age and not just for older people, so we have staff who are carers caring for autistic children as well as partners caring for loved ones with life limiting conditions.

Working under the umbrella of Athena SWAN and with support from the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research, Swansea University is making positive steps to support staff who have caring responsibilities.  The Staff Carer’s Network has developed into a ‘safe space’ where carers can feel supported to speak about their experiences and be listened to by those who understand and those who care. Over the past year and during the Covid-19 pandemic our carers have expressed concerns that their situation and the challenges it poses in combining work with unpaid caring have been overlooked.

Making Care Visible and Valued is important for all staff as most people are carers at some point in their lives.  If you would like to find out more about the work that SU are doing to support carers, the Staff Carer’s Network meet every other Wednesday via zoom between 12.00 and 1.00 and everyone affected by caring is welcome. Contact Maria Cheshire-Allen

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