UNPAID carers who give support to loved ones and friends shared their stories at a special event to mark a major milestone.

To celebrate a quarter of a century supporting the community, Furness Carers brought together 25 different organisations and charities to create a special networking event.

Getting Carers Connected, held at Hindpool Community Centre, was a way to conclude a successful Carers Week.

The 25 organisations and charities included Mind in Furness, Royal Voluntary Service, Alzheimer’s Society, LGBT groups, Cumbria County Council’s Shared Lives, as well as many others, who came together to find solutions for the Furness community.

Chief executive Craig Backhouse said: “Carers Week is always an important week in our annual calendar of highlighting carers' needs and support available locally, however it is important to remember they are caring 24/7, 365 days a year.

“Without the support they give our health and social care system would come to a standstill.”

The event was also a chance for unpaid carers to speak about their experiences with these organisations which are able to provide crucial support.

Voluntary support carer Sam Parker said: “Furness Carers provide outstanding support for unpaid carers.

“I care for my husband, Lionel, who has epilepsy and mild cognitive impairment. We’ve been married for 14 years.

“It’s rewarding to help my husband, because I’ve always wanted to be a carer, so to help him is special to me.

“I juggle my voluntary service with my career of helping the Furness community too.

“If I have any spare time, I also assist at the charity Singing for the Brain and I’m currently learning sign language.

“It can be challenging at times, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Mr Parker heaped nothing but praise for his carer and wife.

“She’s very caring, but above all she’s my rock,” he said.

Michael Cassells, voluntary worker at Furness Carers, said: “The centre’s objective is to unite these 25 organisations closer together.

“Through connecting these groups, they can work as one to provide the Barrow public incredible care solutions.”

The Getting Carers Connected event also provided an opportunity for other organisations to prepare for upcoming carer events, including Shared Lives, which will be holding a care event in Barrow on Tuesday.

Voluntary worker Jeff Holt said: “Furness Carers are a vessel for carers to be able to speak to like-minded people. It helps provide information."