Norfolk Labour’s Manifesto for 2017 pledges:
• We will lead by example by creating Carer Friendly Norfolk
• Working with communites and voluntary organisations
• Valuing our care workers’ working conditions and pay
• Listening to and working with people who use social care services
One of Labour’s ﬂagship policies for the County Council elections is the creation of a Carer Friendly Norfolk. Unpaid carers in Norfolk would ﬁll Carrow Road football ground 4 times over.
Carers are aged from four to over ninety. Carers can be children who look after parents or siblings and juggle their school work, often with little time or support for themselves; carers can be working people who look after dependents or older relatives; carers can be friends or neighbours who step in to make a diﬀerence. Many provide care for more than 50 hours a week. They provide care because they care about those they look after. Their care is what makes all the diﬀerence to vulnerable people in need.
The care which is given is priceless. It is estimated that the care which unpaid carers in Norfolk provide would cost £500m a year so that, even in the good times, the help given is unaﬀordable if it had to be paid for. The burdens on carers are stressful and onerous. We want to encourage and help schools, employers and carers themselves to increase visibility, recognition and support for these unsung heroes.
Employers – Labour is asking employers to join us in a developing a Carers Charter for employees who have caring responsibilities. This would include things like tme oﬀ in emergencies, reorganising work- loads so that carers are beter able to combine working and their caring responsibilities. This means that the needs of the person they are caring for can be more easily met and some of the strain will be taken oﬀ the carer. By signing up to this initiative, ﬁrms will become better employers and it will assist them to recruit from a wider range of potential employees as they’ll be able to advertise for new recruits using a ‘Carer Friendly’ logo. Carers are likely to be a less stressed and be more productive employees. Having a carer who is less stressed means that the person being cared for will also beneﬁt.
Schools – Some schools and colleges know which young people are carers, many don’t. Young carers can lose out because they have no social life and are tired or distracted by their caring duties. They deserve special support. We will work with schools and young carers to give them the support they need and help them to also have some fun.
Communities – Network of carer friendly communities working with existing local organisations e.g. Parish Councils, voluntary organisations and informal groups.
Discount Cards – Labour is asking businesses including shops and leisure organisatons to join us in launching a Discount Card system for carers.