Giving up your own time to take care of someone else is one of the most selfless things that anyone can do. Caring can be rewarding, but Britain's carers make great personal sacrifices to help others, and it's absolutely right that we should recognise and celebrate the extraordinary work they do. That's why I am a passionate supporter of Carers' Week.
This year's theme 'In Sickness and in Health' is vitally important. Yes, carers look after others - but they themselves also need looking after. Daily acts of kindness and compassion can take their toll, physically, mentally and emotionally. So it's right that Carers' Week is emphasising the importance of caring for our carers.
I am determined that the Government should do everything possible to help. That's why we are making money available for respite care. And we are ensuring carers get the vital breaks they need. We are reforming the welfare system so that benefit rules will be adjusted to recognise the caring that people do. And we're raising awareness of caring needs among our healthworkers and encouraging people to identify themselves as carers at an early stage so they can access the information, advice and support they need.
Carers are an inspiration to us all. And I hope in this special week that we can, together, give something back to those who give so much to help others.