A CAMPAIGN to offer more help to carers got off to a flying start.
About 175 people visited events in Huddersfield and Batley held as part of national Carer's Rights Day.
They were invited to share their experiences about their caring role and suggest improvements to services that would help them continue caring, but also to have lives of their own.
Their comments will be used to help develop services.
Clr Margaret Bates, Kirklees Council's Cabinet member for health and social care, said: "I am delighted that so many carers attended the events.
"I hope the information they were given will be of great benefit to them.
"They provide help to some of the most vulnerable people in our area and we value their efforts very much."
The events aimed to provide information on benefits, pension credits, disability rights, services for the deaf, work and training opportunities, social care services, such as adult placements, equipment and carers assessments.
Every year almost 15,000 people in Kirklees become carers and join the ranks of the nation's 6m carers who look after a friend, family member or loved one.
New figures from the Carers UK charity shows the loss of income and support that carers face.
As well as missing out on some £740m of unclaimed benefits nationally, they are often not getting the services or information they need - particularly in the vital first year of caring - because they do not recognise themselves as carers.
The new data is in a report, In the Know, based on a survey of 265 carers, to find out the difference that information and help makes to their lives.
It was published to mark the seventh national Carers Rights Day.
It showed that 65% did not recognise themselves as carers in the first year of caring and 32% took over five years to do so.
As a consequence, one in three believed they had missed out on benefits and pension entitlements.
Missing out on a year of the Carer's Allowance benefit alone, at £46.95 per week (2006/7 rates), means a loss of income of £2,441 per year.
It also means missing out on pension contributions.
As many as 220,000 older carers may become entitled to pension credit every year, but may not know it is available.
To find out more about help and support for carers contact Kirklees Council Carers gateway on 01484 226050 or email visit Kirklees. gov.uk/carers