CARE WORKERS have walked 30 miles across East Lancashire and into Manchester to demand the government takes action on the social care crisis.

The 12 carers began their walk in Burnley, marching through Accrington, Blackburn and Darwen, before finishing at demonstration outside the Manchester venue of the Conservative Party conference on Friday.

Along the way they spoke to members of the public and fellow care workers about the plight facing their sector, with thousands of carers around the country paid less than the living wage, as well as raising money and collecting food for local food banks along the route.

Lancashire based care worker and march organiser Brett Marsden said: "Last year, we watched as politicians stood on their doorsteps and clapped for carers.

"We are walking to Conservative Party Conference in Manchester to tell the government that it’s time they turned the clapping into action.

"As care workers, we want to deliver high quality care, but we are not being given the tools to do so.

"And we are not being treated with respect- care work is underpaid, understaffed and unsupported.

"The social care sector is in crisis and we hope that our walk draws attention to this problem so that we can convince the government to make a genuine effort to save social care."

Along their 33 mile trip, the carers passed through East Lancashire, Egerton, Bolton and Salford before joining a protest organised by the People’s Assembly campaign group and supported by several trade unions including Unison.

Unison official Denise Bradley said: "The Government said two years ago that they would fix the social care sector, but in the Queen’s speech, the social care sector was overlooked yet again.

"The Government’s recent solution to the care crisis has simply been to raise taxes through a national insurance hike, this will do nothing to solve the huge problems in the sector and penalises care workers themselves who so sorely need a pay increase, not a tax increase.

"To make matters worse, most of the funding generated from this tax-rise won’t even be spent on social care.

"It’s time for the Government to act on their promise to better fund social care by reforming and rebuilding social care to provide higher quality care services, better care worker pay and improved working conditions.

"It speaks volumes that care workers, the experts on the sector, felt that the only way they could be listened to is by walking over thirty miles to Conservative Party Conference.

"It’s time for the Government to listen."