Michelle to champion carers in new trustee role

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Having been a carer for her father, Michelle Evans-Riches always marks Carers’ Week, but this year it means even more as she’s been appointed as a trustee at a local carers’ organisation.

Carers’ Week is an annual opportunity to recognise the huge contribution which carers make to society and to spread the word about the challenges they face.  This year it takes place from 5 to 11 June 2023.

A carer is defined as anyone who, outside the workplace, looks after a family member, friend or loved one who has a disability, mental or physical illness, addiction, or who needs extra help as they grow older.

Michelle Evans-Riches, an NHS programme manager with Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, has recently been appointed a trustee for Carers in Bedfordshire.  She said:

“I’m excited to be joining Carers in Bedfordshire’s board.  I was the primary carer for my dad who was housebound and had multiple health conditions, so feel I have some insight into what it is like to be a carer.

“This year’s theme for Carers’ Week is ‘Recognising and supporting carers in the community’, so I’m keen to see how the NHS can help people who have caring responsibilities.  For example, have you told your general practice that you are a carer?  But also, how can the NHS work with the families of people who are diagnosed with certain conditions, to make sure they are aware of carers’ entitlements, such as social security payments and an assessment carried out by your local authority?

“With many working carers having to take on additional caring responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the cost of living crisis causing further stress and hardship, it is vital that working and non-working carers alike are supported in their caring responsibilities.”

There are services in place in all parts of Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes to support those who care for others.  These include both condition-specific groups for certain illnesses and disabilities, which are often affiliated to a national charity or campaigning group, but there are also some organisations which work with anyone who is a carer:

Carers’ Support Service Luton

Carers in Bedfordshire

Carers Milton Keynes

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