National Carers Week shines a spotlight on thousands of Blackpool people looking after loved ones
Blackpool's carers are being treated to a week of relaxation and increased awareness thanks to a campaign dedicated to easing the struggles of those who spend their lives looking after their loved ones.
Carers young and old are taking part in creative arts sessions and days of fun outdoor activities at Blackpool Carers Centre this week as National Carers Week is about to begin.
Faye Atherton, quality director at the carers centre, on Newton Drive, said: "The theme this year is all about making carers visible. Carers have been working generally behind the scenes this past 12 months. It's not the all-singing, all-dancing carers week we would like to have because of obvious reasons, but we will still do what we can to mark the national campaign.
"Lots of carers have become carers for the first time during lockdown because of worsening mental health problems and conditions which have gone under the radar due to coronavirus. We're here to say there is support out there for carers, and you don't have to manage alone.
"We have got over 1,000 children and young carers registered, and that's just in Blackpool. We have got around 7,000 adults registered as carers. This year will no doubt show a real significant rise in people taking on a caring role.
"National Carers Week is about putting carers in the spotlight and getting the message out there that if you are looking after somebody who otherwise wouldn't have that support, you are a carer and help is available. Carers Week gives us the chance to shout that message.
"A lot of carers don't think of themselves as carers, whether they're looking after a partner, a parent or a disabled child, they see it as just something they do. They receive no training, they're just thrown into it. Carers Week is the chance for us to say you don't have to go it alone, and you do have provisions out there for information, training, support and advice."