MICHAEL Eavis joined more than 100 carers at the 11th annual Somerset Carers’ Day at Dillington House, near Ilminster.

Mr Eavis opened the conference last week by recalling events which led to the first Glastonbury Festival and examples of how the festival had been able to promote a wider vision of care.

He spoke about the social housing he had helped create by giving his own farmland to build affordable homes on the condition that the houses would be for rent only and kept low cost.

Mr Eavis also spoke about the millions the festival has given to charities.

The conference, organised by Somerset Partnership, is an opportunity for a small sample of Somerset’s 58,000 carers to meet socially, listen to guest speakers and participate in workshops.

Carers were able to join in choir singing, line-dancing, Tai Chi, relaxation workshops and ‘soul walks’ in the grounds of Dillington House.

Somerset Partnership chief executive Edward Colgan said: “Through our Carers’ Services Team we provide a range of support for those who care for friends and family with mental health issues.

“The conference is our chance to pay tribute to these carers and to give them time away from their duties to relax, share experiences and meet other carers in the wonderful setting of Dillington House.”

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens also paid homage to carers. He said: “Carers are hugely important to our society, their contribution is immense.

“In terms of providing care, they are often doing most of the work, so it is vital that we in the NHS give them the recognition and help they need.

“We also need to remember how the demands of caring can take its toll on people’s own health. We need to care for the carers.”