Kevan Jones MP called into Durham Town Hall on 2 December, along with Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, to lend their support to Carers UK’s national carers’ rights campaign, urging people caring for ill or disabled loved ones to access all the support they are entitled to.

There are around 6.4 million unpaid carers in the UK who provide care support to family, friends and neighbours, saving the country an estimated £119 billion each year. Carers Rights Day, run each year by Carers UK, seeks to increase the take-up of carers benefits and raise awareness of carers’ rights and the support which is available.

Kevan Jones said: “Carers are fulfilling a vital role in our society, but too often they go without the support they need. We all need to play a role in helping to identify people who are looking after ill, frail or disabled loved ones and make sure they are accessing all the financial and practical support they can.”

Carers UK has urged carers to get in touch with its helpline, CarersLine (0808 808 7777 or Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy at Carers UK said, “Nearly three quarters of carers are financially worse-off as a result of caring, with many falling into financial hardship and debt. Yet around £840 million per year in carers benefits go unclaimed. In this tough economic climate, it is crucial that carers receive clear information on what they are entitled to, and how to claim it.”