Paul Hogg – Director of Corporate Affairs

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust will be getting behind Carers Week, 8-14 June 2020, with a new online virtual carers café available to carers in Bradford, Craven, Airedale, Wharfedale and Wakefield.

Carers Week is an annual campaign which aims to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face, and recognise their invaluable contribution. There are at least 6.5 million people in the UK and around 60,000 people based in the Bradford district who are known carers. This figure is likely to be higher as there are many people, particularly young carers, who are “hidden” or whose role is not identified by services. Because of this, the theme for 2020 is ‘Making Caring Visible’, which helps to highlight the new challenges unpaid carers may face, particularly since the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

During the pandemic, to protect carers, our staff and our wider communities, the Trust’s Carers Hubs have been replaced by a virtual Carers Catch-Up Café to offer support. The virtual cafes will launch for the first time on Wednesday 10 June, 10.30am – 12.00pm, providing an excellent opportunity for carers to come together online to share their experiences and meet others in similar circumstances. If members of the public, who are carers, would like to receive an invitation to the online café, email or call 01274 251112, and leave a message with their name and number for the team to return their call.

Isla Skinner, Trust Patient Experience and Involvement Lead, said: “We are really conscious that recently we’ve not been able to provide our usual level of face-to-face support because of the impact of coronavirus. However, we are exploring other ways to provide information and support and are working together with carers and other organisations in the community to make sure we are listening to and looking out for carers. We’d like to offer the virtual café to anyone who is a carer; if you have access to an email address, we can send you an invitation to join and if you can’t do the whole session, you are very welcome to just ‘drop in’ and say hello.”

There are further ways to stay connected to Trust support through the new Carer Newsletter. To be added to the mailing list please email call 01274 251112 or contact the team via Twitter account: @BD_CarerSupport.

Paul Hogg, Director of Corporate Affairs, said: “In Carers Week we recognise that now, more than ever before, it’s time for us to join with carers and organisations to help make caring visible. This is part of our ongoing involvement in the Carers Trust ‘Triangle of Care’, which promotes shared working between carers, professionals and people using services. I am pleased that we are strengthening our carer support across the community during Carers Week and beyond, by using social media and online discussions.

“The Trust recognises the fundamental role that carers play in helping family, friends and neighbours in the treatment and recovery process. We are delighted the Trust’s virtual Carers Catch-Up Café will offer support to help them in their caring roles.”

Paul Hogg has also recorded a short video message which can be viewed here: