Carers UK‘s Juggling work and unpaid care report (2019) found that 1 in 7 people in employment are also managing an unpaid caring role. In Stockport this equates to more than 20,000 of our residents (ONS/NOMIS, 2018).
5% of UK adults have given up paid employment to care, and a further 4% have reduced their working hours to fit in with their caring role. This is not conducive with our belief that carers should also be entitled to a fulfilling life outside their caring role, and so we have worked with carers and employers to develop the concept of the ‘Work With Us’ project.
At Signpost, our carers tell us their paid work is important to them – not just financially, but also in terms of social interaction and support, for a sense of fulfilment and sometimes even as a source of respite from their caring role.
I took a career break to look after my autistic daughter when she started high school. I spent five years at home with her during some of the most distressing times of her adolescence and when I was offered the opportunity to go back into the workforce, I jumped at it. The toll full-time caring had taken on my mental health and confidence was immense. Being a full-time carer is very socially isolating. (Jill, Cheadle)
Work With Us is a three year project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
We will work in a ‘two pronged’ approach to:
- Support working carers in Stockport by offering advice, guidance and opportunities to meet other working carers, as well as support to improve health and wellbeing
- Connect with employers, share useful resources and best practice, as well as offer training around carer-friendly employment.
By working with employers, we aim to improve staff retention, morale and recruitment whilst ensuring that carers can continue to have all the benefits that paid employment brings. We also aim to create more carer-friendly job opportunities and recruitment practices, in turn creating pathways for carers and former carers to return to work.
We aim to create opportunities for discussion and learning between working carers and employers by facilitating a Stockport carer-friendly working group.
We also hope to learn more about the experiences of carers in Stockport – those in work, those in between jobs, those who are unable to find work that fits in with their caring role and those who have had to stop work due to caring. These experiences will help us advocate on behalf of carers and help us contribute in the following groups:
- Carers in Employment Delivery Group (chaired by the Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership)
- GM4Women where Signpost are represented in the carers subgroup.
Get in touch
To get involved in the Work With Us project, contact the Work With Us Co-ordinator, Rebecca, by email at Rebecca@signpostforcarers.org.uk or call 0161 442 0442 (office) 07387 414355 (mobile).
Connect with Signpost on LinkedIn where we post regularly about the project and update with relevant news.