MEPS Unite In Praise Of Irish Carers Advocate

Ennis, Ireland (PressExposure) June 16, 2009 -- County Clare-based Brigid Barron has just completed five years leading Eurocarers - a not for profit and non-governmental organisation representing Family Carers, carers organisations and research and development groups in 17 European countries.

Ms. Barron, who is the organisation's Founding President and is the Innovation and Programme Manager of Caring for Carers Ireland, acted as a voice for carers through advocating, raising awareness and contributing to policy development at national and EU levels.

According to Marian Harkin MEP, co-founder of the European Parliament Special Interest Group on Carers: “Eurocarers has acted as an anchor for those of us in the European Parliament who work on carers’ issues. They give strength and depth to the work we do in representing carers’ interests at EU level. Brigid Barron has given so much to the organisation. I have always found her to be very helpful and proactive in her work advocating for carers and their issues.”

Kathy Sinnott, former MEP and co-founder of the European Parliament Special Interest Group on Carers, added: “It has been a pleasure working with Brigid Barron over the past number of years. She has been an invaluable source of information and support in the creation of the European Parliament Interest Group on Carers, which I founded in 2007. Brigid is a dedicated and leading voice for carers not only in Ireland but across the EU."

There are 100 million carers in Europe. Up to 80% of all long-term care is provided by carers, mainly women with an average age of 55 years. Time spent caring is at least 20 hours per week, averaging over a period of 5 years. One of the aims of Eurocarers is that the members will exchange information and learn from each other. An example of this can be seen in Sweden where a National Competence Centre for Family Care Issues modelled on the Dutch Expertise Centre for Family Care has recently been established.

According to Brigid Barron: “To truly achieve equality for family carers we must act at a European level. There we can share the experiences of carers from many countries and learn from their stories and from the organisations that research in this area. So much national legislation flows from EU directives that it is the only way to go. Together we have a much stronger voice. That is why we founded Eurocarers.”

Mary McMahon, CEO of Caring for Carers Ireland, said Brigid Barron’s work was vital in advancing the cause of family carers at European level. “In her role, as President of Eurocarers, Brigid served family carers very well. Her passionate belief in the strength of numbers has meant that Eurocarers grew from an idea into an international organisation that puts carers concerns at the heart of Europe. Through Caring for Carers Ireland, Brigid will continue to promote, both nationally and internationally, recognition of carers and advocate for the development of services that can help them in their valuable work”, stated Ms. McMahon.

- Further information is available from Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 086-8534900 or media@dunphypr.com - Eurocarers - Eurocarers is a European non-profit and non-governmental association working for informal /family carers. Established in 2004 in the Netherlands and registered in 2006 in Luxembourg. Membership is representative of carers’ organisations and Research and Development groups, related patient and family organisations, currently spanning 17 countries and 30 organisations. Eurocarers represents the interests of carers in Europe by exchanging, gathering and disseminating experience, expertise, good practice and innovations. It raises awareness and contributes to policy development at national and EU level by making use of evidence-based research and acts as a voice for carers on issues that affect them. http://www.eurocarers.org - Caring for Carers Ireland - Caring for Carers Ireland promotes the Health, Well being and Quality of life of Family Carers and those for whom they care by promoting recognition, providing respite care, information, training and advocacy to promote Social Inclusion, within the context of The Carers' Charter. http://www.caringforcarers.org

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Press Release Submitted On: June 16, 2009 at 11:49 am
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