Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust will be getting behind Carers Week, 6-12 June 2016, 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.
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.
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 Carer’s Hub earlier this year to provide vital support for people in the district caring for loved ones who access the Trust’s services.
The Trust’s new hub, at Horton Park Health Centre, is the first step in developing a district wide support network for carers, and provides a place for carers to meet, recharge their batteries and gain access to free advice and information.
Activities taking place at the hub during Carers Week will include complimentary pamper sessions for carers who can book to have a head/hand or foot massage, reiki, guided relaxations and drop in information sessions to find out what support is available to carers through the hub. Art sessions will also be on offer, enabling carers to learn new skills, make new friends and experience the therapeutic benefits of art.
Young carer, Kayley Gregory, welcomed the launch of the hub earlier this year. Kayley has been caring for her mum who has bi-polar disorder since the age of seven. According to the Children’s Society there are 166,000 young carers (under 18 years) in the UK. Many of these young people are forced to grow up early and miss out on the same opportunities as other children because they care for family members with health conditions. The hub offers a place to go for young carers to meet and during Carers Week a young carer’s film/pizza night has been organised, offering young carers such as Kayley a chance to meet other young people, over dinner and a film, to share experiences and develop new friendships.
Tracey Corner, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust FFT & Patient Experience Lead, said: “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 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.”
Maria Fisher is the main carer for her 21 year old son Ben and her 82 year old elderly father Bill Cook. Maria’s son Ben was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and learning disabilities at the age of six. Commenting on the Carers Hub, Maria said: “The Carer’s Hub is helping me in my caring role as it’s somewhere to go when I need a break and I’m feeling overwhelmed to share difficulties and triumphs with other carers. This is so important to me, as I’ve always believed in support groups and the power you can gain from being with likeminded people in similar situations. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything; there is a knowing between people, that is a support in itself and I find it quite therapeutic.”
A series of professional talks will also be held at the hub in June and July for carers on a wide range of subjects from oral health information to fire safety and basic life support training. To find out more about activities and support within the hub call the information line 01274 251112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Come along to the Trust’s Board Meeting 30 June 2016 to talk to carers and find out more about the hub.