A short film capturing the everyday lives of some of the 47,000 unpaid carers in Wiltshire has been launched today.
Carers Voices is the latest in a series of DVDs organised by Wiltshire Council to highlight the stories of people who may not always have a voice.
The series records the thoughts of different groups of people who may not always go to meetings to make their views known, so their experiences can be considered in key decision making.
A number of unpaid carers speak in the film, explaining how caring for a family member or friend has affected them. The film shows some of the challenges they face including taking time out for themselves and the physical and emotional challenges of caring. It also looks at their hopes and dreams for the future.
Six carers speak on the film including a wife looking after her husband with dementia, an 18-year-old carer and a mother who cares for one child and faces challenges looking after her other children.
A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse issues. In the 2011 census it showed that there were 47,608 carers who provide unpaid care in Wiltshire.
Keith Humphries, cabinet member for public health, said: “This DVD delivers a powerful message which everyone should hear Many unpaid carers continue to be unseen who have often been silently struggling to cope with their responsibilities. I hope this film reassures carers that they are not alone and help and support is available.”
Corporate director for public health Maggie Rae said: “Hearing from people about their experiences can reveal so much more than leafing through a report. This film will be used to help raise awareness amongst the public and health and social care professionals about the issues affecting unpaid carers in Wiltshire and what can be done to support them.”
The film is the 13th in a series called the Wiltshire Voices project. The first 12 films received central government funding and captured the stories, views and opinions of different groups from Army wives, Polish people and stroke survivors.
It was decided to add another which was commissioned by Wiltshire Council and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group and co-ordinated by Carer Support Wiltshire to highlight this important field, and the film and the other 12 can be viewed online at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/wiltshirevoices.