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Carers Trust responds to census data showing geographical split in unpaid care

Today the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published data from the 2021 census on unpaid care in England and Wales.

Responding to the census data on unpaid carers, Carers Trust's CEO, Kirsty McHugh, said:

"Today’s census data highlights the significant poverty penalty experienced by the nation’s unpaid carers, with far more people caring for friends and family in areas of higher deprivation. Worryingly this divide has increased since the 2011 census, suggesting a failure by Government to provide proper support for unpaid carers and the local carer services that help them. The gender divide is also failing to close, with more women and older people providing care from home.

"We’re also concerned about the nearly 140,000 children and young people providing significant levels of care each week, a figure which is likely to be the tip of an iceberg. There has been a marked rise in the number of young carers and young adult carers who care for at least 20 hours a week and there are still tens of thousands of young people caring for more than 50 hours a week. This is despite it being nearly 10 years since the introduction of new legal rights for young carers and young adult carers and strong evidence of the detrimental impact to education, work and wellbeing.  These numbers show yet again that more work is urgently needed to identify them across education, health and social care, alongside funding vital local young carer services to support them.

"We believe that the true number of unpaid carers is far higher than the census suggests. The fact it took place in the middle of a pandemic when many people were unable to visit those for whom they cared, alongside a change in the wording of the question framing, means that many people may not have identified themselves as unpaid carers. What remains stark, however, is that there are millions of unpaid carers who need help from the UK Government, including support for their local carer organisations, more funded respite breaks and delivery of a long-promised national strategy for unpaid carers."

For further information and to arrange interviews with spokespeople contact: 

Mark Chandler at mchandler@carers.org or 07712 427808

About Carers Trust

Carers Trust is the UK charity working to transform the lives of unpaid carers across the UK. It partners with its network of local carer organisations to provide funding and support, deliver innovative and evidence-based programmes and raise awareness and influence policy.​ In 2021/22 Carers Trust supported 917,000 unpaid carers across the UK.


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