Best Community Campaign

Unsung Heroes – Forward Carers 

@ForwardCarers #unsungheroes #carerfriendly #brumcares 


One in four households in Birmingham is home to a person who cares for someone else, yet 50% of people say they don’t know any Carers.

The Campaign

The Unsung Heroes campaign raised awareness of and celebrated family and other unpaid Carers across Birmingham aged 50 years and over.  

Carers are amazing people who look after someone who couldn’t manage without them due to frailty, age, physical illness, mental health condition, or addiction.  

One in four households in Birmingham is home to a person who cares for someone else, yet 50% of people say they don’t know any Carers. It is a ‘hidden’ role that takes place behind closed doors, and many can feel disconnected and unseen by their community, and lonely and isolated in their role.  

The aim of the Unsung Heroes campaign was to bring the caring role into sight, so that Carers felt seen, valued, and connected to their community. 

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Sponsored by Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (Need to add in logo) Seek to bring about significant changes in the political system, making it more accountable, democratic and transparent and to rebalance power for the well-being of society.

The Change

The Unsung Heroes campaign sought to strengthen individual Carers agency and build a greater sense of community between them. 

Forward Carers supported Carers to tell their own stories, via a series of ‘Unsung Heroes’ videos and blogs that were shared across a social media campaign, giving voice to the rich and diverse realities of the caring role. 

This platform for people’s voices and experiences, helped ensure they were seen and valued. It also forged connections between Carers, reducing isolation. By facilitating peer-support, connections, and providing co-produced resources on issues like Carers’ rights, Forward Carers supported Carers as they built their own knowledge and agency. 

Forward Carers also worked with local influencers and decision-makers, such as GPs and MPs, calling on them to stand up for Carers’ needs. And the UK’s first ever Carer Friendly Business Awards spotlighted good practice amongst employers, organisations and businesses, encouraging others to follow suit. 


The Future

The Unsung Heroes campaign ended in June 2020 but was the catalyst for the Carer Friendly Communities programme, a national initiative to improve support for and recognition of Carers of all ages. Carer Friendly Communities empowers communities to make small changes that make a big difference to the lives of Carers. Any organisation can become Carer Friendly – find out more here. 

Who else was involved?

All the Carers who shared their stories so courageously and honestly to help other Carers feel less isolated.    

Creative partner Orange Juice Communications who helped tell Carer Stories and reach businesses across the community in a way that spoke to them, via the Carer Friendly Business Awards.   

Funders, the Birmingham Voluntary Service Council, lead partner in Ageing Better in Birmingham. Ageing Better is one of five major programmes set up by The National Lottery Community Fund to test and learn from new approaches to designing services which aim to make people’s lives healthier and happier.