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Spring boost to support unpaid carers

Photo 112040432 / Carer © Nikki Zalewski | Dreamstime.com

A brand new campaign from Carers UK to help unpaid carers become more physically active in engaging and accessible ways will kick off shortly. Carers Active April will help unpaid carers all over the UK who want to move more but find it challenging due to the demands of their roles.

Those caring for a partner, relative or friend who is disabled, frail or unwell are being called on to sign up or spread the word on what promises to be an inclusive and exciting four weeks.

Three quarters of carers (76%) are not able to do as much physical exercise as they’d like to due to the stress and demands of caring for a relative or friend. At the same time 73% say that being physically active makes them feel good about themselves. Carers Active April aims to change this so more carers can more easily access activity and feel the benefits of it.

On joining, carers will receive: A free starter pack including free resources, access to online sessions, and weekly emails with helpful ideas, top tips and links to more support. The four weeks of activity will culminate in a ‘Healthathon’ on Saturday 30 April, a fun, free online event which will offer exclusive sessions to join throughout the day as well as special guests. The first 500 carers to sign up to Carers Active April will receive a special Healthathon pack.

Funded by Sport England through the National Lottery and run by Carers UK as part of the ongoing Carers Active campaign, the month will offer unpaid carers opportunities to give new activities a go.

Carers and their families as well as organisations can visit Carers UK’s Carers Active Hub and read about the experiences of others and their journeys to becoming more active. Carers and organisations can share their own experiences and find inspiration in others as well as share what they have planned using the campaign hashtag #CarersActiveApril.

Hayley has been caring for her husband for three years, after he suffered a spinal injury. She discovered how physical exercise could help her mental health earlier in the COVID pandemic when she felt overloaded and had to take time off work. She said:

“I now go to a local gym to a class each week with a friend. I also signed up for a 5k. The exercise makes me feel fitter, generates natural endorphins and makes me feel happier.”

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

“Carers have had an extremely challenging time during the pandemic, and many have seen their own health and wellbeing significantly impacted by their caring responsibilities during this time Now more than ever, finding ways to improve carers’ health and wellbeing is crucial. Caring for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill can make it very difficult for carers to prioritise their own health and wellbeing on a day-to-day basis.

“We’re delighted to introduce Carers Active April and the Barclays funded Healthathon as an enjoyable way for unpaid carers to find some physical activity that they enjoy, that they can benefit from and that they can fit around their caring responsibilities.”

For online activities, tips and motivation from other carers sharing their own stories to getting more active, carers and their families can visit Carers UK’s Carer’s Active Hub to find out more, and sign up receive their exclusive Carers Active April Starter Pack.

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