picture from carers hub openingBradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new Carers Hub on 18 March 2016 in Bradford to provide vital support for people in the district caring for loved ones.
The Trust has involved carers every step of the way in the design of the Carers Hub, from deciding what services and facilities will be accessible through the hub, right down to the colour of the walls, artwork and soft furnishings.

The Trust’s new hub, at Horton Park Health Centre, is the first step in developing a district wide support network for carers, and will provide a place for carers to meet, recharge their batteries and gain access to free advice and information.

In support of the Carers Hub, Trust Board Members Mike Smith, Chair, Nicola Lees, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing, and Cathy Woffendin, Deputy Director of Nursing, Childrens and Specialist Services, were at the launch, along with Rebecca Bentley, Nursing Professional Lead and Non-Medical Prescribing Lead.

Nicola Lees, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing said: “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 Carers Hub will offer a place for carers to recharge to help them in their caring roles.”

Barbara Keeley MP, Shadow Minister for Older People, Social Care and Carers, officially opened the new facility run by the Trust.  Barbara Keeley MP said: “The majority of care is provided not by doctors, nurses or paid care workers but by family and friends. Given that our health and care system relies so heavily on carers, it is welcomed that Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has worked with carers to design a service to help support Bradford’s 60,000 carers.

“We know that carers face a host of financial, emotional and practical challenges due to their caring. It is so important that health staff identify carers so that they can be offered the information, advice and support they need. I wish the Bradford Carers Hub every success and look forward to hearing about the hub’s progress in providing vital support to carers in Bradford.”

The Trust’s new Carers Hub will make a real difference to people caring for family and friends, and will offer a space for one-to-one support, access to professional and clinical staff, providing information on relevant topics and health awareness sessions and a timetable of activities such as art and pampering sessions, quiz and games activities. This facility will complement carer support services across the district and the Trust is working closely with partners Making Space, Carers Resources and Barnado’s to offer a full range of support.

Young carer Kayley Gregory welcomed the launch of the Trust’s new Carers Hub. From the age of seven Kayley has been caring for her mum who has bi-polar disorder with the support of her grandma.

Kayley said: “I think it’s a great idea and is something that has been needed.  The Trust’s Carers Hub will benefit many people and will definitely benefit me.  It will give people the chance to have ‘me time’ because when you have caring responsibilities, it is quite difficult to put time aside for you.”

Michael Firth has been caring for his disabled daughter Susan, a wheelchair user with Microcephaly, for 10 years. Michael feels the launch of the Trust’s Carers Hub will help to support carers in meaningful ways.

Along with other carers, Kayley and Michael have been involved in the design of the hub to ensure it meets the needs of the people using the facilities.

Michael said: “I think the Trust’s Carers Hub is a good idea because carers need a place to go where they can call their own. Knowing there is a place to go to have a cup of coffee and a chat when you need it makes a big difference.”

With 60,000 carers in Bradford, support is paramount, without this, more and more carers will reach breaking point with devastating results for carers and their families.  The Trust’s Carers Hub will provide much needed support for carers in the district, like Kayley and Michael that play a vital role in caring for loved ones.