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This week is Carers Week; Activities and workshops for carers; Who is a carer and how do they get support?

Elderly man sat on a bed alongside his younger adult son. They are looking at a photograph in a frame.

Do you provide unpaid care for a friend or relative?

This week is Carers Week. It’s an annual campaign to raise awareness of the vital role that unpaid carers have in supporting thousands of people every day.

The theme this year is ‘Making caring visible, valued and supported.’

The Office for National Statistics estimate that around one in every six people in Devon is providing unpaid care for other people – that’s an estimated 130,000 carers in Devon. And yet, only around 42,000 carers are currently known to Devon Carers.

We want carers, and the important role they have in so many people’s lives, to be more visible and valued. We want carers to know that there is a wide range of support available to help them with the role they have, from training, peer support and advice, to Carer Assessments, support and emergency planning.

Carers Week advert, 'Making caring visible, valued and supported'.

Activities and workshops for Carers this week

This week, Devon Carers has teamed up with carer-support services in Plymouth and Torbay to organise a range of in-person and online workshops and activities.

These activities provide an opportunity for carers to meet others and to have some fun!

Carers can try their hand at craft sessions, attend games nights, visit National Trust properties and try out Tai Chi, Laughter Yoga, and cheese tasting – to name but a few.

There are also information sessions available on managing stress, first aid, keeping your home safe, and being aware of financial scams.

During this week, Devon Carers is also challenging people to walk, roll or stroll ‘a mile with a smile’ to raise awareness of the contribution that carers make in Devon.

Andy Hood, Head of Devon Carers, said:

“We would love as many people as possible to walk a mile, by yourself or with family and friends, to help us raise awareness of the amazing contribution unpaid carers make. You may know of someone who is looking after a family member, friend or neighbour – tell them about our service because we are here to support them throughout their caring journey.”

Devon Carers would love to see a smiling photo of you completing this challenge, which you can send to to be added to their website! Take a look at some of the pictures from last year on the Devon Carers website.

More information on all the events, and how to book, can be found on the Devon Carers website.

Elderly lady with her adult daughter

So who is a Carer? 

There is a wide range of support available to unpaid carers to help them, but part of the challenge is in reaching them to let them know about that support.

Out of an estimated 130,000 carers in Devon, Devon Carers know around 42,000. Now some of that may be because people who are supporting friends or family wouldn’t consider or recognise themselves as being an unpaid ‘carer’, and therefore wouldn’t register that there’s help available to them.

As a definition, a carer is anyone who provides care to another person. This includes emotional support and/or practical help, but excludes those who get paid to care or are doing so as voluntary work.

Devon Carers have a simple ‘carer recognition tool‘ on their website that will help you recognise if you are a carer.

How do I get support as a Carer?

If you are an unpaid carer, or you know someone who is, support is available. Unpaid carers can access support from Devon Carers who offer a range of services.For information, advice and support, visit the Devon Carers website, or email Or contact the Devon Carers Helpline on 03456 434 435. The Helpline is available Monday to Fridays from 8:00am to 6:00pm (except bank holidays) and on Saturday from 9:00am to 1:00pm.