Publish date: 11 June 2024

By Matthew McKenzie, Carer and Chair of West London Forensic Ethnic Carers Peer Group

Matthew McKenzie .jpg
Matthew McKenzie

As a carer activist, I have always found it useful to raise awareness of unpaid care. Carers Week is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of unpaid carers and the role they play.  The theme for this year is "Putting carers on the map".  

Unpaid carers go through many challenges which range from:

  • Guilt
  • Stigma
  • Identification of their role
  • Depression
  • Financial pressures
  • Physical and mental wellbeing issues
  • Self care being neglected
  • Isolation
  • and struggling with carers rights.

So it is great to see that the new theme for 2024 aims to galvanize activity in a general election year, to highlight the increasing pressures carers and to campaign for much-needed recognition and support.

As being involved in West London NHS Trust, I found they are working hard to engage with carers to reduce the challenges carers face.  This could be down to carer engagement, carer awareness training, policies aimed to provide support for carers and listening to carers.

It is so important we include families, friends and carers to get the best support offered. I hope Carers Week allows for more carers to be identified and acknowledged for the role they play.  It is so important to put carers on the map.

Taken from my book "The Poetry book of mental health caring." 

Being There

Here I am

Being there

All I can do

Is say I care


Here I am

The best that can be

I am here for you

Just wait and see


Here I am

An unpaid carer

To be identified

We’ll fight together


Here I am

I am never far

Through sun, rain and snow

I will be your guiding star


Here I am

I’ll fight for you

Although I am not perfect

It’s all I can do