Carers Oxfordshire held its fourth annual Caring Matters Conference on 25th November at The Kassam Stadium, Oxford, and addressed key issues in caring in 2016. The conference offered carers and professionals essential information and advice around the caring role.
The conference was chaired by Sarah Taylor, High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, who is working with OCF during her shrieval year to raise money for local carers charities. During the conference she presented a cheque to Action for Carers for £27,271.69.
Having the right information at the right time can make a huge difference when you are a carer looking after someone. Many unpaid carers suffer in silence, struggling with depression, stress and anxiety while juggling their own lives with caring for friends or relatives. To address this, the conference brought together experts in a wide range of fields, delivering seminars with topics including welfare benefit advice, mindfulness, singing for your health and reflexology. There was also an information fair where delegates could find information on the services available to help them to maintain and manage their caring role, and a keynote talk from Dame Philippa Russell DBE, Emeritus Chair of the Standing Commission on Carers, whose son Simon has cerebral palsy.
Unpaid carers in Oxfordshire provide an estimated £927.8 million of economic value annually to Oxfordshire’s economy, and Carers Oxfordshire’s task is to provide information and support to them. Last year Carers Oxfordshire supported over 28,000 unpaid carers in the county. According to OCF’s Oxfordshire Uncovered report, there are an estimated 12,000 young carers in Oxfordshire – children who look after a family member but are working under the radar with no support.