Revealed: the hidden lives of the UK’s 6.5 million carers

Caring is an activity most of us will do at some point in our lives but it usually goes on behind lace curtains.

Top photographer Chris Steele-Perkins aims to change that by putting caring into sharp focus in his latest exhibition
Dawn Hart and her twins, Grace and Ethan, who are both severely disabled. Dawn and her husband, Garry, are both full-time carer, as 6.5 million other Britons. Photograph: Chris Steele-Perkins/Magnum

Dawn Hart’s son, Ethan, had only been at home from hospital for six days when he stopped breathing. It was midnight on a Sunday and she was breastfeeding him in bed.

“I thought he had fallen asleep, then I realised there was no breath,” Hart says. “I looked at him and his lips were blue.”

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