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Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that its Embracing Carers™ initiative has launched a new campaign to help individuals in the UK reflect and recognise their unpaid caring role sooner with a view to them accessing available support and resources faster.

Developed by Merck and guided by Carers UK and other leading international carer organisations, Embracing Carers™ is a global movement to highlight the important role of carers in society. With up to 6,000 people a day in the UK becoming carers1, it has launched the “By Day, By Night initiative”. The campaign aims to help individuals reflect on their daily lives and help those in the UK recognise their role as a carer.

To provide all UK carers with information on the support and resources available, the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) with the support of Embracing Carers™ developed a Global State of Care Report that includes a UK chapter identifying current legislation to benefit carers, best practice and opportunities to increase support across the country.

“Carers across the UK play a crucial role in the lives of loved ones and there is a strong need to help individuals reflect on their daily caring activities to help them recognise this,” says Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Carers UK.

“One of the key goals of Embracing Carers™ is to help support carers in recognising their own role. By doing this, it not only lets those individuals know that they are not alone, but helps to bridge the gap between carers and the resources they need. As a strategic advisor to Embracing Carers™, Carers UK welcomes these ambitions, helping to improve the recognition and quality of life for carers in the UK and worldwide,” added Holzhausen.

A staggering 6.5 million (around 10 per cent of the UK population)2 are carers and the majority of carers take a long time to recognise their caring role. Research by Carers UK shows that over half (54%) of carers in the country took over a year to recognise their caring role and nearly a quarter (24%) took over five years to recognise their role as a carer.3

“Many of us have experienced, or will experience, what it is like to be a carer,” said Belinda Byrne, Medical Director, Merck UK & Ireland. “As a company, Merck is committed to highlighting the unique needs of carers, both in the UK and around the world, to identify the necessary resources and support they need to take care of their own health. Caregiving needs to be made a public health priority and we hope that by helping individuals recognise their crucial role as a carer sooner, that they will be able to access support and resources faster,” added Byrne.