#couldyoucare Around 30,000 new care workers will be needed in the South West by 2025

Thousands more carers will be needed in the years ahead to look after Devon's ageing population.

As part of the Gazette's new #couldyoucare series in conjunction with our Archant sister papers, we will be putting the spotlight on the adult social care industry, the challenges it faces and the need to recruit more people.

We will look at what it means to work in the care sector, meet people just starting out in their careers and those in specialist roles.

We will also meet those they care for as well as the unpaid carers looking after friends or relatives and what they have to contend with.

Archant South West group editor Andy Keeble said: "Adult social care is something all of us will need or come into contact with during our lifetimes.

"That's why we want to highlight the fantastic work of carers, both paid and unpaid, and bring you the human stories behind the headlines."

There is currently 196,000 people aged 65 or over in the county but that is expected to rise by a quarter to almost 250,000 by 2030.

It is estimated by 2030 almost 109,000 adults will be living with a serious disability, mental illness or condition that could require care.

More than 28,000 people aged over 65 are providing unpaid care to a partner, family member or other person.

Across the South West in general it is thought an extra 30,000 new care jobs will be needed by 2025.

A growing population means there is a similar picture right across the country, though Devon in particular has an ageing population, with many people choosing to retire here.

Our new spotlight on care comes as Devon County Council (DCC) and 15 other councils from across the region launch their Proud to Care South West campaign to boost recruitment.

The vacancy rate is estimated at 6.9 per cent with some 9,000 adult social care vacancies across the region at any one time.

DCC principal social worker Geraldine Benson said: "We want the incredible people who work in the care sector to feel proud of their vocation and for others to see it as an enormously rewarding area of work that they can become involved in.

"We want people to see that it has great career prospects, with many opportunities for progression in care and health including nurses, social workers and registered care managers."

Do you work in care, or are you or a family member receiving care? Perhaps you work for an organisation or charity and want to get your message across?

To share your story, email newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk or call us on 01271 345056.

Find out more about a career in care by going to www.devoncarejobs24.co.uk