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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 15 October 2007

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Social care system is failing 4 million working age carers

NEW research by Carers UK highlights the challenges facing health and social care services in the face of demographic change.  Care services are failing Britain's 4 million working age carers, making it harder or even impossible for them to hold down a job, according to one of the largest in-depth surveys of carers commissioned by Carers UK.  Over 40% of those caring full time and not in work say that they cannot return to employment because of the lack of services available.  Carers UK's Chief Executive, Imelda Redmond, wants to see a radical overhaul to avoid a demographic and economic disaster.  "We now have the most detailed evidence to date of the issues facing working carers which can inform a more planned approach for the future", she says. "The Comprehensive Spending Review provides us with an opportunity to set this out and get it right.  It is clear that current systems do not support carers at key stages of their lives and this latest in-depth analysis shows that care services are systematically failing working carers. Carers have reasonable expectations to a life beyond their caring role and we should be fulfilling them."

The research is led by Professor Sue Yeandle from the University of Leeds who has compiled 6 major reports on working age carers, 4 of which are published by Carers UK.

The 4 reports provide the responses of nearly 2,000 carers - one of the largest surveys every carried out. They cover:-

" Stages and transitions in the experience of caring
" Managing caring and employment.
" Diversity in caring: towards equality for carers
" Carers, employment and services in their local context

They also reveal a new dilemma. 42% of those new to caring say that the person for whom they care is reluctant to use care services, for whatever reason, leaving many carers unable to access any support for themselves, and making their working lives even harder.

Key points show:-

" The majority of working carers say they need at least 1 type of formal service which they are not currently receiving

" 33% of carers in full or part-time work are struggling financially

" Very few working carers are getting breaks, and less than 25% have access to respite care services

" Only 25% of working carers feel they have adequate support from formal services to enable them to combine work and care

" Between 40 and 50% of working carers say that a lack of flexibility and sensitivity in the delivery of services is hampering them

" Almost half of those working part-time say that they are only in work of this type because of their caring responsibilities

Carers UK wants to see:-

o A complete overhaul of the way that social care is provided, with a much stronger focus on supporting carers to remain in or return to work

o Significant investment in social care, including stimulation of the care market through the creation of employers supported 'care vouchers'

o New legislation to make it illegal to discriminate against carers - in the same way that it is for disabled people.

o A full scale review of carers' benefits; and the exploration of tax breaks and tax credits to help carers avoid poverty and remain in employment.

o A social contract for carers which makes it clear what the state, employers, and others will provide and what individuals have to contribute.

Imelda Redmond told the press that:-"Caring needs to be looked at in its own right rather than a 'bolted-on' issue.   All too often they slip through the net - whether it is finding the right information, getting financial support, accessing local authority services or looking after their own health needs. It is time that a cohesive plan is put in place on how social care is provided and planned for in the future."


LOUI Batley, who plays Sarah Barnes in Hollyoaks, joined in the celebrations at The Children's Society's Annual Festival in Liverpool Cathedral on Saturday 29 September. Loui chatted with the children and young people before handing out certificates and awards.

She said:- "I am delighted to be at The Children's Society's Annual Festival. Meeting all the children and young people who helped to make the Festival happen was an inspiration. The Children's Society is all about ensuring children have the right to a good childhood and that definitely gets my support!"

This year's event, 'Every child deserves a good childhood', highlighted the work done by The Children's Society across the UK, helping over 50,000 children, young people and their families each year while recognising the invaluable contribution of its volunteer network.

The Annual Festival and Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication celebrated The Children's Society's work in partnership with the Church to reach children and young people at the margins of society. The celebrations included the Kinder Children's Choir of the High Peak; a selection of workshops and presentations involving children and young people; and the 'When I Grow Up' celebrity photographic exhibition.

Liverpool International Market October 2007

LIVERPOOL City Council’s markets partner, Geraud Markets Liverpool Limited, has confirmed the return to Lord Street of the International Street Market. The event takes place from 25 October 2007 to 28 October 2007.  This new International Market of 2007 promises to be bigger and better than ever in. The market will consist of over 40 international traders from France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Greece, Poland, Hungary, UK and Spain offering a wide range of Continental goods.  Products on offer include fruit, vegetables, cheeses, craft items, jams and preserves, olives, antipasties, German, Polish and French bread plus many traditional dishes to take away such as Bavarian Sausage, garlic potatoes, crepes, waffles and Spanish paella. 

The market will operate from 9.00am each day on Lord Street and finish at 5.00pm. On, Thursday 25 October 2007, the market will be open for late night shopping.  On Sunday the market will be open from 10.00am until 4.00pm.  Groupe Geraud Chief Executive, Andy Burnett, said;- “The Company is happy to announce the return to Lord Street of the Continental Market. The event location has proved in the past to be extremely successful.

This year’s International Street Market events are expected to be even better than before and the company looks forward to giving the city it’s first truly “International Market.”

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