Britain's Princess Royal has praised the work of unpaid carers and called for more support for them.

Princess Anne visited Ditchingham in Norfolk, east England, yesterday (17.04.13) to mark the first anniversary of Crossroads Care East Anglia, which was formed by the merger of Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care.

During her trip, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth advised the charity and staff to seek help from private and statutory bodies, suggesting they use the "network principle" to help the 180,000 regional unpaid workers feel appreciated.

She said: "That's the only way you are going to be able to support carers in the future: by having as many partners as possible.

"Right across the age range, caring changes the way you live your life and your ability to deal with it. Finding the right access points for [carers] and the support that each one needs requires a degree of sensitivity that, frankly, statutory services are not designed to have - and they need partners to provide services they feel are necessary."

While the princess recognised there is still "a lot more work to be done" to support the hard work of the carers, she believes human contact will be more beneficial than relying on technology to resolve their problems.

She added: "It is essentially people helping people that helps carers."