Thousands of unpaid young and adult carers across the borough are being encouraged to access information, advice and support during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A range of support, provided by Carers' Hub Rochdale, offers a number of key services for residents in their caring roles.
The support available includes:
- An online carers community network, where carers across the borough can chat and attend virtual coffee and chats.
- A 24 hour volunteer staff carers' help and talk line.
- Access to Carers UK digital resource for free, including information on a range of topics, online training, and a care coordination app.
- Support for people to take breaks from caring, through online support groups, activities, and training.
- Support to access other community, and health and wellbeing services.
An unpaid carer is described as someone who provides their time and support, without payment, to family or friends who couldn't manage without help.
The work of unpaid carers can include day-to-day living tasks or personal care, such as helping them to wash, get dressed, eat, taking them to appointments, helping with or keeping them company when they feel lonely or anxious.
A recent national report found that, during the lockdown, 70% of carers are providing more care than before.
N-compass, who are commissioned to run local carer services by the council, provide support for over 25,000 carers of all ages across the borough.
Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, the council's cabinet member for adult care, said: "This is a vital service to help support the brilliant and dedicated job our unpaid carers do to support loved ones. It is recognising and valuing the selfless care they are providing for those closest to them. A huge thanks to the work of carers across the borough, who I hope are reassured that services are in place to help them. As the adult care cabinet member, I am proud of all carers and would encourage them to access this support."
Teresa Jennings, chief executive of n-compass, said: "Making carers visible has never been as relevant as it is today, many are fighting the same battle as care staff and with far less recognition. Our aim is to support carers to stay well as they continue to care for others during this pandemic. Carers often don't recognise their role themselves and we encourage everyone to help identify hidden carers in their families and communities."