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Charities minister supports action on carer loneliness

Charities minister supports action on carer loneliness at the Carers Support Centre.

Mims Davies MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, visited the Carers Support Centre last Friday to learn more about targeting carer loneliness in Croydon.

Davies, whose responsibilities include cross-government work on tackling rising levels of loneliness in the UK, supported the Carers Support Centre’s efforts to highlight the problem and help local carers feel less alone.

Our 2018 No One Should Care Alone report found that 45% of Croydon carers are lonely all or most of the time, and 64% struggle to spend quality time with friends and family. 

Across the UK, carers are 37% more likely to feel regularly lonely, compared to those without a caring role (Office of National Statistics).

National research suggests that lacking social connections can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

We introduced Davies to our free activities to help Croydon carers combat loneliness, including drop-in advice and support, the Carers Café, and the Carers Creative Dance class.

The minister was able to speak to local carers about their experiences, and even try out some Bollywood dance moves!

Minister for Sport, Civil Society and Loneliness, Mims Davies MP, said:
“Having cared for both of my parents who had various long-term health issues, and gone to school in Croydon, it was great to return to this bustling part of the country on Friday, joining local Councillors, including Councillor and Conservative Parliamentary candidate, Mario Creatura, at the Carers Support Centre in George Street. 

“This fantastic local facility, by providing a drop-in service for local carers, dancing classes and support through bereavement for former carers, is playing a key role in tackling isolation across the Croydon community, and I want to thank the Centre Manager, Helen Thompson, and her whole team for giving me such a warm welcome on Friday and for all of the work they do every day to support carers.”

Mario Creatura, Councillor for Coulsdon Town ward, said:
"It was a real pleasure to welcome the Minister to the Carers Support Centre on Friday. They do such important work providing all manner of support to our tireless carer community.

"When we give up so much to look after a loved one we often don't stop to take a breath and acknowledge that we may also need some help. That's why what Helen and the team are doing to care for our carers is so vital - and why I was proud to take the Minister and local councillors to meet the team and hear about their experiences working to help so many people in Croydon."

Helen Thompson, Carers Support Centre Manager, said: 
“We welcome the Minister’s positive attitude towards tackling carer loneliness. 

Our Carers Café and free wellbeing activities offer Croydon carers an opportunity to meet others and take a break from caring. But we know many carers still face the pain and stigma of chronic loneliness. 

Feeling frequently lonely can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. We therefore call on local and national government to make carer support and carer respite breaks a priority, so carers can take care of their physical and mental health, and maintain crucial social networks.”

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