Connecting Carers to support

Carers Week 2019 Facebook banner - We're supporting

Council and health partners to mark Carers Week from 10 - 16 June with free events for carers

The council and local health partners are encouraging individuals, organisations and communities in Tower Hamlets to connect carers to the information and support they need, as the UK marks Carers Week from 10-16 June.

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help, as they grow older.

The annual Carers Week celebrates and recognises the vital contribution of the UK's 6.5 million carers to society and highlights the need to come together to help carers get connected to support such as advice and information; services; technology and social networks with friends and family and other carers.

Caring is a fluid role and the number of carers in the borough can fluctuate.

With the accelerated population growth in Tower Hamlets, there could be as many as 25,200 carers in the borough, including 3,800 under the age of 24.

Thousands more people become carers but often it’s not something they’ve planned for. Carers often struggle to find the right information and support that can make all the difference when looking after someone.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “We recognise the valuable role of our many carers across the borough, they are often ‘unsung heroes’ providing care day-in and day-out for loved ones in our community. Carers Week is a chance for us to celebrate the good work they do and recognise that we need to play our part in supporting them to take care of their own well being.”

The council and Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) work in partnership with Carers Centre Tower Hamlets, which will hold a programme of activities for unpaid carers during Carers Week. Events include:

  • 10 June - Pamper and therapy day
  • 11 June  - Carers forum and lunch
  • 12 June - Carers Centre Tower Hamlets 21st birthday celebration and information day
  • 14 June. - Day trip to Brighton for carers

The council and partners have identified key priorities, which they aim to deliver by March 2020. These include targets for training; carrying out new assessments; and providing information and advice to carers and are outlined in an action plan – ‘our commitment to carers’ - which will be launched at the centre during Carers Week.

Dr Sam Everington, a local GP and Chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Carers help those they look after every single day in an immeasurable number of ways. We must ensure that they are looked after in turn.

“The theme of this year’s Carers Week is getting carers connected – something that is vital to ensure their own wellbeing while caring for others.

“Caring can sometimes be a lonely or difficult role, and having other carers as part of a support network can provide vital help when people need it the most.

“But getting connected goes beyond just this; it’s also about connecting with local services, advice, technology and friends and family. All of this matters as part of a broad network of support for our carers.”

Case study:

Maria is planning to become a volunteer with the Carers Academy at the Carers Centre and is looking forward to using her experience of being a carer to support other carers.

“For many years, I was the sole carer for my mother as well as holding down a job – eventually I needed to take early retirement to carry on caring. At times, it was very lonely and exhausting. But I wouldn't have changed anything as I had great support from the fantastic staff and other carers at Carers Centre Tower Hamlets who became my friends,” Maria said.

Now that my mother has died, having been in a caring role, I have decided that I want to support other carers who are in the same or a similar position. I found out about the volunteering through the Carers Centre’s new Carers Academy.

My role will be to support staff at the centre. I can take time to support carers by listening to their situation and their questions, and then seeing how the centre can help. This means possibly just listening, but also arranging for a Carers Support Advocate to contact carers to address specific issues. I just love being at the Carers Centre and am so pleased that even though I am a former carer, I am able to give something back to the Carers Centre which has been such an invaluable source of support to me.”

For further information about support for carers and Carers Week activities, visit https://ccth.org.uk or call 0207790 1765.

Posted on Thursday 6th June 2019