The She Cares campaign was launched by Carers NZ to highlight the countless unpaid hours of support provided by women around the country and to rally for a better respite and funded care system.
Sitting next to Laurie Hilsgen, the Chief Executive of Carers NZ, you can see the passion in her eyes when she talks about the She Cares campaign. This campaign highlights that if you are supporting someone then chances are you are a woman. More than 200,000 women provide an average of 30 hours a week of unpaid care. This saves the Government a conservative estimate of $10.8 billion annually. It is time that these individuals are recognised for the work they do.
Laurie says, “There are times in everyone’s life when they might need extra support or become an unpaid carer for someone. It could be that our elderly parents need extra help after an operation, or a family friend has an injury and now needs practical help.” There are numerous ways in which we find ourselves in this role. Laurie adds, “The issue is that there are many people providing support and missing out on the ability to earn and survive financially.”
The campaign runs through 2018 and shines a spotlight on the lives of unpaid carers, to bring about change to the respite and funded care system. It also provides individuals with information packages. These include information about available government and community supports.
“It’s important for employers to recognise that this could affect their staff,” says Laurie, and she points out that flexible work hours might be needed to support an individual who is providing care. Laurie continues, “The key message for those providing care is, make sure you look after yourself! Have you organised your own check-up recently?”
Often those providing care do not have the time or energy to focus on themselves. The campaign is a reminder that it is important for each person to take time out and do the things that re-energise them.
Laurie encourages everyone who is providing support to join Carers NZ to ensure you receive its free, regular updates and are entered into its regular competitions for pamper packages. For your pack email or phone 0800 777 797.
For more information on the She Cares campaign click here.
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