Unpaid carers across Dorset have been sharing why they are ‘more than a carer’ as part of a Carers Week campaign run by local charity Carer Support Dorset.

Carers Week takes place 5-11 June and is a national campaign that raises awareness of those who are caring for a family member or friend. The theme this year is ‘making caring visible, valued and supported’.

Leanne Hubbard, Chief Executive of Carer Support Dorset, explains: “When someone takes on a caring role – and that can be something that happens overnight or a responsibility that gradually increases over a period of time – we refer to them as a carer. Carers tell us they can begin to feel unseen and lose their sense of identity. People may ask after the person who is unwell that they look after but forget to ask how the carer is doing.

“Then there are some people who don’t identify at all as a carer. They are simply looking after someone, perhaps a parent or a child, because that person needs them. Our ‘More Than a Carer’ campaign, which we’ve been running in the lead-up to Carers Week, aims to show carers as the people they are, with hobbies, ambitions, hopes and dreams just like everyone else. These may have had to put some things on hold and plans for the future may have had to change, but carers should be helped to live their lives as fully as possible while they are supporting someone. Carer Support Dorset can help carers achieve what they want to by making sure they are accessing all of the support available to them.”

For the campaign, Carer Support Dorset photographed carers and layered those photos with words the carers used to identify themselves, in addition to ‘a carer’. A survey asked others the same question and respondents replied in a range of ways.

One respondent is Catherine who wrote: ‘I am a carer but I’m also so many other things. I have hobbies, but I’m limited to gardening and baking now.”

Another responded that ‘I don’t know anymore what I am apart from a carer’ and said she would love to have more time to walk the dog, swim, exercise, dance and visit the beach.

Michelle from Portland cared for her grandmother for eight years. Her gran died just a few weeks ago aged 103. Michelle said:

“I’m glad to have been able to care for my gran and have the chance to share some lovely times together. It was incredibly difficult at times juggling full time work and caring intensively during and after Covid.

“I was a carer but I also have a grown up family, a partner and friends who I didn’t get to spend time with like I used to. I loved my gran and loved looking after her and it has left a deep void that I will start to fill with the hobbies I loved doing before, such as photography, walking and kayaking. I haven’t been able to do those things for so long.”


Carer Support Dorset are running some special activities for carers during the week, including a cream tea in Blandford and a parent carer / young carer event at Weymouth Library.

If you are caring for someone and would like to talk to someone about support that may be available to help you, Carer Support Dorset can be reached on 0800 368 8349.