AROUND 65,000 unpaid carers are being encouraged to take part in a series of week-long support events in North Yorkshire.

Those looking after family members or friends, without pay, are being encouraged to attend events across five days in different towns and villages round the county.

It is currently estimated that there are officially about 65,000 unpaid carers working across North Yorkshire, whilst it is claimed one in three unpaid carers in the country feel ‘lonely’ or ‘isolated’.

Research commissioned for ‘Carers Week’ said carers feeling this way, felt ‘uncomfortable’ discussing their problems with close family members and friends.

The research also claimed around 61 percent of unpaid carers said their physical health had worsened.

Beginning on Monday, June 10, it is hoped the week-long events can provide support to unpaid carers, and raise awareness of their role.

Chairman of North Yorkshire County Council Councillor Jim Clark said: “The thousands of people in North Yorkshire who provide a vital service in caring for a friend, relative or neighbour are our counties’ quiet heroes and deserve recognition for the work they put in day in, day out.

“We want to make sure this incredible work is recognised in our society and that they receive the help and support they need.”

Across the county, daily drop-in sessions will take place in Whitby, Scarborough, Thirsk and Harrogate until Friday, June 14.

A spokesperson from the council said it was ‘looking at ways’ it could offer information, advice and supportive services to carers.

Between 2015 and 2016, the council said carers' centres had more than 1,800 referrals to the service, whilst 476 who had been referred, were defined as 'young carers'.

Around the same period of time, the council's ‘Joint Strategic Needs Assessment’, which looked at the impact on an unpaid carer's physical and mental health, found that carers predominantly said their roles and responsibilities ‘made it hard’ to look after their own health, exercise or eat a balanced diet.

The report also revealed that the roles and responsibilities of an unpaid carer often resulted in social isolation and aggravated risks of poor mental wellbeing.

Once the week-long events conclude, a feedback session will be held by North Yorkshire County Council.

On Tuesday, June 18, carers will be encouraged to attend the workshop at Allerton Court Hotel in Northallerton.

At the workshop, leaders from carer organisations will discuss their experiences and the level of support offered by North Yorkshire County Council.