Unpaid carers across Sussex supporting an ill or disabled family member or friend are being celebrated this week.

Locally, charities are highlighting the challenges carers face, as part of the annual National Carers Week.

In East Sussex is estimated there are 65,000 unpaid carers, according to charity Care for Carers.

Meanwhile, Carers Support West Sussex claim there are around 89,000 in West Sussex.

According to a report commissioned by Carers UK, carers in West Sussex save the county more than £1.5 million a year.

Jennie Musgrove, chief executive of Carers Support West Sussex said:

“We want local people to recognize the selfless hard work and support carers give to their family and friends. 

“There are many stresses and strains to face but also many rewards and comforts of helping loved ones to remain in their homes when they are frail, unwell, need support or have other special needs. 

“Please just ask any carer to give us a call. “

The theme of the week-long campaign this year is ‘Building Carer Friendly Communities’.

In East Sussex, Care for the Carers are encouraging businesses to allow flexible hours for employees who are carers.

The charity is also urging the public to help to make life easier for carers in the community.

Care for the Carers chief executive Jennifer Twist said:

“There’s a really tricky situation that a lot of people find themselves in where they may be having to juggle their career, their job, alongside looking after perhaps an elderly parent or possibly an adult child with a disability.”

Meanwhile, Carers Support West Sussex will be hosting events across the county over the course of the week.

For more details visit the charity website.