Carers Rights Day: Are Carers receiving the support they deserve?

by | Nov 23, 2023

Image: Staff at Crossroads Care Rotherham

New Rotherham research has shed light on a ‘lack of support’ for carers, with one charity calling for government action.

Rotherham Council recognises that being a carer can be ‘isolating’, ‘tiring’ and ‘confusing’. 

Latest council figures show 19% of adults carers feel ‘lonely’, 36.2% adult carers are aged 18 and above and 37.1% social carers are aged 65 and above.  

Crossroads Care Rotherham is a local non-profit organisation and has supported carers and people with care needs for more than 35 years. 

The charity on the Council’s Framework for Care, with many other partnered organisations. 

It currently has 40 volunteers to support  services they deliver. 

Elizabeth Hopkinson, 59, Business Development Manager at Crossroads Care said: “We at Crossroads support unpaid carers so that people that care for family or friends in the community get a range of information and support services.

“There’s a massive issue with care division, it’s getting respite from the caring role, people having to give up jobs to care for family members and we get a lot of carers that struggles with impacts of caring on the mental health as well as on the physical health, it even impacts them financially.”

More than 30,000, or 12% of people in Rotherham are providing unpaid care in often alongside work or education. 

Nationwide, over 10.6 million people are carers, one in five as per latest statistics.

Out of which recorded 1.25 million provide over 50 hours of care per week. 

Forty-one percent of carers say they have ‘not had a break’ in the last year. 

Ms Hopkinson, who had also been a carer for her parents for several years, said: “The problem we have is getting the quality of people that are truly caring and want to care, we struggle to get people that want to do a good job.

“There’s a massive increase in people caring or coming forward or struggling because social care is so difficult at the moment.

“Carers aren’t getting the support that they need. To get people into the industry things have got to change and that’s got to be from the Government. Because people works for 10 hours and get paid for 5 (hours).

“It’s got to be a vocation, people are not  getting paid for what they’re working.”

The charity’s annual records show a total of 58,675 visits to clients, 472 free therapies, 1,188 people supported and 69,111 care hours provided. 

“We try to meet every carer’s needs, if we can’t meet it, we make sure someone can within our partnered network,” said Ms Hopkinson.

The Council findings claim if the workforce grows proportionally then the total number of social care posts will increase by 25% between 2021 and 2035. 

The charity’s target for this year was to raise £30,000 and they successfully exceeded it. The charity mainly deals with adult carers over the age of 18 years ‘as long as they’re caring and supporting somebody’.

Ms Hopkinson said: “We’re constantly fundraising, we’re a local charity. What we raise in Rotherham, we spend on Rotherham.

“All the services provided are based on feedback, majority of the services are free, the funds raised goes back into the free services that we offer such as free massages, therapy, counselling, etc.

“We have got a number of organisations coming into our carers group on 22 and 23 November for Carers Rights Day.

“We’re doing as much as we can to support local businesses to support employees keep at work, and in return we just ask businesses if they can support us by doing a little fundraising for us.” 

Based on her own 15 years of experience as a health and social care worker Ms Hopkinson said carers should take time to care for themselves. 

She said: “Having a life while you’re still caring, people often lose their identity, they lose the life that they have and they become full time carers – and that’s not right.”

She has been working for the charity for over 12 years now, ‘to make a bigger difference’.

The charity is located on Unit H, The Point, Bradmarsh, Rotherham, S-Yorks, S60 1BP. 

For more information about the event or about the charity please contact 01709360272 or email them at