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Oxfam toolkit aims to shift dial on how we talk about unpaid carers

Oxfam GB, with support from Carers Trust, has launched a new toolkit aiming to shift the dial on how society talks about unpaid carers and their vital role in society. The aim is to promote better communication with the public about the vital importance of care (both paid and unpaid) and the need to properly value it.

The toolkit also sets out to tell a new story about care that builds public pressure for change and investment, highlighting just how important carers are to both society and the economy.

This initiative aims to be a helpful tool for anyone advocating for better support and investment in carers. Poorly framed narratives can continue to entrench established norms that undervalue the importance of care in our society, it is argued. 

The toolkit emphasises how caring is a social good that benefits society and  all of us as individuals. It also shows how caring is not a marginal activity, it is something done by millions of people every single day and is the glue that holds society together.

Additionally, care narratives need to explain the many benefits that both paid and unpaid carers bring to others. Care narratives must outline the negative consequences of continued lack of investment at a societal and individual level.

The toolkit, launched by Oxfam this week, is based on research conducted between June 2022 and January 2023 as part of the Re-framing narratives on care in the UK project. The project’s Advisory Steering Group included Carers Trust alongside Carers UK, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Trades Union Congress, Women Equality Network Wales and the Women’s Budget Group.

Rohati Chapman, Executive Director for Programmes, Policy and Impact at Carers Trust, said: 

“We believe this care narratives research will play an essential part in the wider public discourse on care, carers and caring. Using a robust methodology, this research highlights crucial strategies for shaping narratives on care, which will prove invaluable for all organisations supporting carers when constructing a case for change.”


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