One thing that connects all areas of the sector, from the investment bankers to the call centre staff, is that when somebody falls ill and requires care, responsibility often falls on their family and relatives to support them.
It is estimated that there are 6.5 million carers in the UK – 1.5 million of whom are over 60 – and every day 6,000 people take on new caring responsibilities.
For employers in the banking sector, and those that work for them, caring for family members is a common – if rarely discussed – issue. Even if a workplace is supportive of caring commitments, (and for those employers that feel they could do more, there are resources here) the work carers do, usually unpaid and to the detriment of their social and financial lives, often goes unrecognised.
This week (June 8-14) is Carers Week – a time to highlight the valuable contribution that people make when they look after an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend.
This year, Carers Week is focussing on building Carer Friendly Communities. The aim is to encourage the growth of communities that support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.
The Bank Workers Charity has always believed in and worked towards encouraging carer friendly communities within the sector. We are proud that due to our work supporting carers in the banking sector, we have given talks and presentations in major banks on subjects such as living with autism, parenting for children with a disability, and caring for elderly parents.
We are aware from our discussions with bank employees that many carers take on their responsibilities single handed, unaware that there is a large network of support available to them.
If you are a carer, it is important to know where to turn for advice, information and support. Our resources on caring, including sources of support for carers, give an overview of what support is available.
Promoting and celebrating the work for carer friendly communities within banks is something that everyone can be involved in. We ask our supporters to get involved by raising the profile of carers, and highlighting the work they do.
By visiting the Carers Week website, you can add a pledge of how you will support carers to the Carers Week Pledge Wall. Similarly, you can send us a tweet of how you will support carers and highlight their work to us on twitter at @bwcharity using the hastag#CarersWeek where we will share what you send us with our followers.
The Bank Workers Charity is proud to be the only UK charity specialising on the needs of banking community. If you are a current or former bank worker, or are related to somebody who is, we are here for you.
You can access our range of support services on our website, www.bwcharity.org.uk or by speaking to our specialist advisors on 0800 0234 834 between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.