Pat at the carers hubBradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust will be getting behind Carers Week, 12-18 June 2017, with a series of activities which aim to support carers to recharge, make new friends and access support to help them in their caring roles.

Activities taking place at the hub during Carers Week will include complimentary pamper sessions for carers who can book to have a free head, hand, neck or foot massage, afternoon tea, guided relaxation sessions, health and wellbeing group sessions designed to provide carers with the tools they need to combat low energy and a walking group to boost health and wellbeing.  Art sessions will also be on offer, enabling carers to learn new skills, make new friends and experience the therapeutic benefits of art.

With 60,000 carers in Bradford, support is vital, without this, more and more carers will struggle to care for their loved ones.

Carers Week is an annual campaign which aims to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

The Care Trust recognises the fundamental role that carers play in helping family, friends and neighbours in the treatment and recovery process.  To help Bradford’s 60,000 carers, the Trust launched a Carers Hub in 2016 to provide vital support for people in the district caring for loved ones who access the Trust’s services.

The Trust’s hub, at Horton Park Health Centre, 99 Horton Park Avenue, Bradford BD7 3EG, provides a place for carers to meet, recharge their batteries and gain access to free advice and information and is open Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm and Friday 10am – 3pm.

Pat Rhodes, aged 77 from Bradford, is a part-time carer for her sister with dementia and was also the full-time carer for her husband before he passed away. Commenting on the Carers Hub, Pat said: “The Carers Hub has helped me in my caring role as it’s a really homely, warm and welcoming place to come and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with people who understand what it’s like to care for a loved one and share similar experiences. Everyone is really easy to get on with, very supportive and encouraging and because of this it has made a real difference to my wellbeing.” Kind-hearted Pat also volunteers at the hub helping other carers to find information to support them in their caring role and offers a listening ear.  Pat said: “I wanted to give something back and it makes me happy that I’m supporting and helping others.”

Tracey Corner, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust Patient Experience Lead, said: “Carers like Pat provide valuable support and often don’t think of themselves as carers. However, caring doesn’t need to be full-time and it’s the little things that people do that can make the biggest difference. We want to do all that we can to support carers through our Carers Hub and to continue to provide care and support services to families in the district. The focus of the national Carers Week campaign is on building carer friendly communities, which support carers to look after their family or friends well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own. The Trust is backing this community friendly spirit and encouraging carers to visit the hub with loved ones to enjoy quality time together during Carers Week.”

To find out more about activities and support within hub visit: www.bdct.nhs.uk/support-for-carers, call the information line 01274 251112 or email carerhub@bdct.nhs.uk