The jubilee creates a caring spirit that should continue


The tables are out for the street party. - Credit: Adam Manning.

Anthony Bernard, Highlighting the Needy, writes for the Journal.

Exmouth Community Food Larder manager Anthony Bernard.

Exmouth Community Food Larder manager Anthony Bernard. - Credit: Picture: Simon Horn.

The Platinum Jubilee brought huge gatherings together, cooperating in support of each other.

This was evidence of people caring, not only for the Queen, but also for each other - maybe that is what Her Majesty would wish, each of us in service to others. 

Many of the street parties were organised by volunteers using donated food, so no-one was left out or left behind regardless of circumstances.

Unpaid carers were featured by Devon County Council in their recent bulletin.

They quote that only around 42,000 carers in Devon are known, whereas estimates suggest there are 130,000 family or volunteer carers in Devon.

To quote: "We want carers, and the important role they have in so many people's lives, to be more visible and valued.

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"We want carers to know that there is a wide range of support available to help them with the role they have, from training, peer support and advice, to Carer Assessments, support and emergency planning."

Everyone needs support at some time in life, even if only to ask the way when lost. 

Lockdown was a trauma for many, and some with vulnerable health are still somewhat isolated.

Keeping in touch by phone is a simple form of support. A problem shared is often a problem eased, so just discussing situations can help.

The message for unpaid carers is to contact the Devon Carers website, email or phone 03456 434435.

This is especially important for young carers, maybe school age, but nevertheless providing vital support to a sibling or parent in moments of need.

Many of us know stories of a child opening the airways of a parent suffering an epileptic fit or similar; I certainly do.

Paid carers are another group that deserve to be highlighted. There are not enough Care Workers.

They need to be well trained, but are paid less than people stacking supermarket shelves.

Low pay does not help recruitment; it causes resignations. It is boring to keep banging on at the same issue and depressing that nothing much changes, but the care sector does need attention.

The Queen's Jubilee was a good moment to think about our constitution, with 'Partygate' inserted back into our news the following day.

Years ago, I was put forward to join a TV debate.

In a preliminary discussion, I supported widely held views, but different from the interviewer's ideas.

My participation was rejected; the person chosen never contributed anything.

So I have always questioned the balance of news reports, quotations and interview choices; many current TV interviews confirm these doubts.

Our Parliament of 650 members, each representing a constituency, provides overall day to day management.

They do gather into political parties, but each individual member is chosen to represent their own electors.

How many MPs would support care workers, without regard to party politics? It is surely an issue that is nationwide, and embraced by both the political left and right.

Backbenchers could provide leadership on these issues, leaving the 'front benches' to deal with the cost of living, the Ukraine war, who will be in charge, etc. 

Not so much fun for the media, but care homes and care in the community are necessary; it is not funny when care is not available!

Our democracy works because at a general election most people take all the political promises and partisan news with a pinch of salt, so common sense generally prevails.