The Woodlands carer garden
The Carers’ Centre has received funding from Big Lottery for a range of projects to support carers across the local area.
A carer is someone who looks after a family member or friend, unpaid, because they have an illness, disability or are frail. Looking after someone can be very isolating and have a significant impact on a carer’s own health, ability to work, sleep and socialise.
The Big Lottery funding will support projects to create Carer Friendly Communities, to make organisations, health services, employers and the public more aware of carers. This will make it easier for carers to access help and support.
Another part of the funding will help carers maintain their health and wellbeing through a range of activities at the Carers’ Centre and in local communities, such as peer support groups, counselling and befriending.
“It can be really hard as a carer, looking after an ill or disabled relative 24/7, to get involved in your community and build those support networks,” said Sonia Hutchison, Chief Executive at the Carers’ Centre.
“We hope to raise awareness with the public so they can be flexible, understanding and welcoming to carers in their local areas to their groups and clubs.”
The Carers’ Centre works with over 4,000 people locally who are looking after someone, including children and young people. The charity works to provide advice, respite, practical and emotional support to carers and families.
A carer said of the support they had received: “You responded to my call for help very quickly as I was feeling quite alone and in a dark space. It is wonderful to know that you are there for all carers.”
The funding has also enabled the charity to refurbish their Bath Centre with new carpets, paintwork and a remodelled kitchen with further works planned in the outdoor space in the spring.
The Bath Centre, purchased in 2015 with a social investment loan, will reopen next week. The space provides a permanent place for carers to enjoy respite in the lounge or garden, or take part in a range of activities focused on wellbeing.