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Dr Valerie Gant has donated all the funds raised by her book, Working with Family Carers, to be shared equally between the Carers Trust and Carers UK.

Valerie said: “When I became a carer for my daughter in 2002, I was forced to juggle both looking after my other children and a stressful job as a social worker. I was exhausted, emotional and was desperate for both information and support from people who understood. Although caring is a privilege and may be rewarding, it can still be incredibly hard work. It took me many years to admit that and to ask for help. 

“In Working with Family Carers, a book inspired by my own experiences, I discuss some of the issues faced by carers in the UK. From identifying carers and providing information and advice and, given the likelihood of practitioners themselves providing (and receiving) care, it also offers a discussion regarding maintaining resilience and the extent to which personal experiences guide and inform practitioners’ response to working with carers. 

“Statistics show there are over seven million carers in the UK, a number acknowledged to be seriously underestimated. We know that at least one in five of us will become carers in our lifetime. Caring needs to be seen as a part of life - the majority of us will be givers and receivers of care at some point and sharing information and supporting each other will help us all in understanding the importance of care. Organisations such as The Carers Trust and Carers UK are great sources of information for carers, students, and practitioners.”

Dr Gant’s book explores real-world issues facing carers and brings to focus the “hidden world that many people do not get to see”.

As part of her PhD studies, Dr Gant looked at the issues facing carers across the country and this became integral to the book.

Working with Family Carers (Critical Publishing) assesses caregiving in the UK and its impact on individuals, health professionals, groups and communities. The book is written for students on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and for professionals in social work, nursing, occupational and physiotherapy.

Dr Gant said: “I personally appreciate the work of both organisations who supported me during some very stressful times, and because of this, I have chosen to donate all the royalties from my book Working with Family Carers to be shared equally between Carers Trust and Carers UK as a way to acknowledge this and give a little back.”

This year’s Carers Week will take place from June 10 to 16 and aims to raise the profile of carers as well as celebrating and recognising the work that goes on behind the scenes. This year’s theme is ‘Getting carers healthy and connected in their communities’.

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