The rights of carers was championed at a successful event in Hartlepool.
A wide variety of local organisations were brought together by Hartlepool Carers at the Best Western Grand Hotel to support National Carers Rights Day.
The central theme was about agencies working together more to make sure carers receive as much support as possible for their demanding roles.
Titled Make Connections, Get Support it featured guest speakers from organisations including social services, Healthwatch, Hospital of God at Greatham, 1 Hart 1 Mind 1 Future, Parents In Need of Support, Hartlepool Now and the Teeswide Safeguarding Adult Board.
Health officials from the clinical commissioning group (CCG) also attended.
Bev Hart, strategic manager for Hartlepool Carers, said: “The theme this year is all about collaboration with other organisations.
“With squeezes on funding and the freeze on service costs the reality is we have to be more innovative and work smarter to help carers so they can do their job better.
“We have had a brilliant response from local organisations, the local authority and CCG who have all come along today.
“Carers need to know that the support they need is there in the community.”
Some some of Hartlepool’s young carers who take the lead in looking after family members also spoke at the event.
Almost 100 are registered with Hartlepool Carers but it is estimated that there are about 2,000 in town.
Bev said that by the year 2030 it is estimated almost 40% more carers will be needed nationally to look after people aged over 65.