Over refreshments, carers and cared-for people received information from organisations about services available to carers locally. The event had been organised as part of Carers’ Week, an annual awareness campaign to improve the lives of the UK’s 6.5 million carers and the people they care for.
Statistics issued by the organisers of Carers Week revealed that nationally one in every eight adults are carers and that every day another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility. The Carers’ Time Off event was held to highlight just some of the issues facing carers and to support carers in their roles. Presentations were made by Denny Levine from the NYCC Adult Health and Social Care Team, Nicky Addison an Admiral Nurse from Dementia Forward and Catherine Thompson from Carers’ Resource who were then available for one-to-one advice sessions with carers.
The event was organised by Carers’ Time Off, part of the Harrogate Easier Living Project, who work with a team of volunteers to provide short breaks for full-time carers to allow them some free time either to take a rest, meet with friends, attend appointments, go to work or pursue a hobby. The service provides 141 hours of support to local carers in Harrogate and the surrounding areas.
Christine Boxall, Service Co-ordinator for Carers’ Time Off, said: Caring places a physical, emotional and financial strain on families.
Today’s event was about providing practical information about who to turn to for help and also gave people the opportunity to meet up and talk to fellow carers over refreshments.
Guests at the party were Val Hussey and her volunteer visitor, Nicky Horsman. Val is cared for by her daughter and is visited by Nicky once a week.
Nicky said: We do all sorts of things together. We talk about the old days, do jigsaws, watch TV or sometimes go out. We have a good laugh together.
Val added: I look forward to Nicky coming. My days are not long when she’s around.
Anyone interested in accessing the Carers’ Time Off service can either self-refer, be referred by family and friends or be referred by an organisation like Dementia Forward or Carer’s Resource. The service does not have a fixed charge but asks for a discretionary contribution. Due to rising demand, there is a waiting list so the service is appealing for new volunteers to help them reach out to a larger number of local people.
For further information about Carers’ Time Off, please contact Christine Boxall 01423 813094 or firstname.lastname@example.org or from their website www.harcvs.org.uk/HELP