Press Release

Aberavon MP Calls for Recognition for Local Carers

5th June 2009

Aberavon MP, Dr Hywel Francis, sponsor of the successful 2004 Equal Opportunities Act, is backing this year’s Carers Week (8-14 June) in support of local carers, who are among the 6 million people in the UK who provide unpaid care for a loved one who is frail, ill or disabled.

Dr Francis recently led a delegation of carers and MPs to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Dr Francis’ support comes as new research reveals that almost three quarters (74%) of carers have reached breaking point due to the pressures of their role. The results show that the strain of caring is causing some carers such extreme levels of stress and depression that they are suffering breakdowns and, in some cases, even attempting suicide.

The Carers Week survey has also highlighted that the vast majority of carers feel their role is overlooked or ignored by professionals (87%), friends (78%) and family members (76%), Almost two-thirds (63%) say that their lives are made ‘much more difficult’ as a result, with more than half saying that it has affected their health and left them worse off financially.

Dr Francis has joined the call for carers to receive more recognition. He says,

“There are thousands of people in the Aberavon Constituency who sacrifice their time – and often their health, finances work and social life - in order to care for a loved one. They deserve to be recognised for the priceless contribution they make, both to our local community and to society at large.”

“I am taking part in Carers Week to express my gratitude and respect for our carers, and also to make them aware that there are services and support available to them. Caring can be demanding and difficult, so it’s important that carers know that they don’t have to struggle on alone.”

Also supporting this year’s Carers Week is Sir Geoff Hurst, England footballer and World Cup hero. Sir Geoff, who has cared for his wife, says:

“Those who care for family and friends mostly do so under the radar, without pay or acknowledgement, and deserve to be recognised for their dedication to the people they care for, not just during Carers Week but for all weeks of the year.”

1) “Carers face physical and mental challenges every day and should be more visibly supported and appreciated for the generous and loving hard work that they do.”

Carers can find out more about local events and activities taking place as part of Carers Week by visiting or calling 0845 241 2582.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr Hywel Francis MP please contact his Constituency Office on 01639 897660.


  1. 1.941 carers took part in the survey, both online and by post, which was carried out by Carers Week between 22 January-25th March 2009. For more information about the survey results contact Sushila Snell, Carers Week Media Officer, 020 7378 4958 or 07900 605770, [email protected].
  2. Carers needing support and advice can find out about local organisations and learn what is happening in their local area during Carers Week by visiting www, or calling 0845 241 2582.
  3. Carers Week takes place from 8-14 June, and highlights the vital work carried out by those who provide unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled.
  4. Carers Week is organised by a partnership of 10 charities: Carers UK, Counsel and Care, Crossroads Caring for Carers, Help the Hospices, Macmillan Cancer Support, MS Society, Parkinson Disease Society, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Vitalise and WRVS.
  5. Dr Francis is President of the Neath Port Talbot Carers Action Movement, Chair of the All Party Group, and was the sponsor of his successful Carers Equal Opportunities Act in 2004.
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