Fiona Phillip’s moving story of her family battles with Alzheimer’s reminds us of the incredible work done by Britain’s 6 million carers- many of whom do not consider themselves to be doing anything more than their family or community duty. Those of us who have experience of caring for loved ones know how hard it is to get the help and support you need, and how isolating the experience can be.
I have long been a supporter of Crossroads (http://www.crossroads.org.uk); an organisation committed to improving the lives of carers by giving them time to be themselves and a break from their caring responsibilities. In their first year of operation in 1974, Crossroads supported just 28 families. Today Crossroads consists of approximately 150 member schemes throughout England and Wales. Over 4.6 million care hours are provided every year to more than 35,000 carers – the equivalent of over 525 years of care.
Organisations like Crossroads deserve our, and the government’s support. I am proud that David Cameron has committed the next Conservative government to passionately support the volunteer sector in Britain, recognising the outstanding contribution they make in our country.