Celebrities Malin Andersson, Ade Adepitan and Naughty Boy have teamed up to share their experiences and offer tips and advice to help Britain’s unpaid carers manage the responsibility.

New research has found 89 percent of unpaid carers weren’t prepared for the responsibility of looking after someone, with patience, staying emotionally strong, time management and multitasking revealed as the most valuable skills to have when caregiving.

With unpaid carers dedicating 22.5 hours a week on average to looking after someone, Smart Energy GB and Carers UK have teamed up with famous faces and real-life carers to offer advice to Britain’s estimated 5.7 million carers about ways help take the stresses and strains out of caring in a new campaign video.

Paralympian and TV presenter Adepitan, multi-platinum selling DJ and producer Naughty Boy and TV personality Andersson have talked about their own deeply personal experiences of caring for their loved ones, while offering heartfelt advice to the unpaid carers of Great Britain.

Andersson rose to fame in 2016, appearing on the hit TV show Love Island and has since dedicated time to caring for her mother who passed away in 2017 from cancer.

She said: “One of the most challenging things I found whilst looking after my mum was how emotionally heavy it was watching someone that you love to fall apart before your eyes. I wish I’d known how little time there was left.”

Their tips include trying not to feel guilty for time not spent with the person you care for, spend quality time with them as well as on the daily caring tasks, talk to someone and open if you’re struggling and get a smart meter for the person you care for, to make managing their energy bills easier.

After representing Great Britain in wheelchair basketball at the Paralympic Games, Adepitan has built a successful career in TV, particularly in travel and sports documentaries.

But the presenter has also spent time caring for his sister who has Down’s Syndrome and more recently for his mother.

He said: “I wish I’d known just how tiring it can be to be a carer, and to know that your time’s not always your own.”

Naughty Boy is best known for his platinum-selling tracks ‘Runnin’ (Lose It All)’ featuring Beyoncé and ‘La La La’ featuring Sam Smith. But while experiencing his meteoric rise, he was also spending time looking after his mother who has dementia.

Naughty Boy said: “I found it hard juggling life at home, being a music producer, living with mum. I had no idea how much my life would change.”

For many, caring takes the same number of hours per week as a full-time job, so this campaign aims to help unpaid carers find ways to better manage their to do lists as well as their own wellbeing.

For those who look after energy bills for someone else, one simple thing to do is request a smart meter. Three in four (73%) unpaid carers said a smart meter and in-home display had been useful in helping to manage energy bills for someone else and a quarter (25%) would advise others to get one for the person they care for.

Smart meters send automatic meter readings, meaning no more estimated bills, and no need to take manual readings for the person you care for. They come with an in-home display which shows in pounds and pence how much energy is being used, so you can make small changes to help take control of household finances.

For unpaid carers, there’s a lot to learn in a very short amount of time. The survey found that seven in ten (71%) expected to get the hang of their caregiving responsibilities straight away, but over half (58%) said it took up to nine months.

Hearing from people who have similar experiences can be a crucial form of support. Eight in ten (80%) unpaid carers surveyed said they feel a sense of community with other people who have caring responsibilities, and 60% said the emotional toll of caring was harder than they ever expected.

Phillippa Brown, a carers specialist from Smart Energy GB, said: “Unpaid carers take on a huge amount of responsibility for others, which is why it’s important to know what support and tools are out there to help manage the load, especially during the cost-of-living crisis. Getting a smart meter installed for someone you care for could take a few things off your to do list.”

To find out more about Smart Energy GB and find out more about how to get a smart meter, visit www.smartenergygb.org