Themed Briefing - June 2021

Carers and Sport

As we celebrate Carers Week from 7 – 13 June 2021, we look to raise awareness of the importance and impact carers have on society and explore how sport and physical activity can help support them and the people they care for. 

It is estimated that there are approximately 6.5 million carers in the UK and roughly 3 in 5 people will be carers at some point in their lives. Carers are also 1.5 times more likely to be from an ethnically diverse background and 1.5 times more likely to have a disability.

We hear from Disability Rights UK, Young Hackney and Carers4Carers. 

Disability Rights UK

Programme Manager, Liddie Bone, talks about the importance of increasing carers confidence and knowledge of sport and physical activity both for themselves and the people they care for. 

One of the biggest barriers for disabled people is the lack of knowledge around how to find activities and often what is available is not always accessible. 

Disability Rights UK have co-created guides with support workers to support an assets-based approach to discussing opportunities and outcomes brought about by physical activity.

Young Hackney

Nancy Bending-Beckett, from Hackney Council, talks through the process of supporting young carers from raising awareness to transition and closure. 

Some key identifiers for young carers include poor focus, difficulty in making friends and being regularly absent or late. In Hackney, 84% of their young carers for from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds. 

Young carers have specific rights, however, 80% don’t have a statutory assessment of their needs and 64% get no support at all. 


Co-Founder and CEO, Paula Bryan, shares how Carers4Carers adapted existing and created new services to keep carers active and support their mental health.  “With many carers shielding alongside the person they care for and support services closed, our community report increased feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression with a few sharing suicidal thoughts. We are also supporting growing numbers who are grieving following the loss of the person they care for or other family members”

“Our team have worked tirelessly” delivering sessions online, outdoors & indoors covering a range of activities such as dance, fitness classes, spinning and walking, along with technology sessions, wellbeing workshops and meditation.

“So many told us our services were a life -saver” and the desire to take part meant there was often a waiting list. Carers joined this session for “exercise”, “to feel young” and  “meet people”.

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