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Carers Get Together And Have Their Say

Carers of all ages get together to share their ideas of how the Carers’ Centre should develop over the next 3 years.

Making sure that carers receive the services they want and need is a top priority for the Carers’ Centre Bath and North East Somerset. At its recent Have Your Say Day in Bath, 65 carers, volunteers, trustees and staff got together to plan the Centre’s development over the next 3 years – and help make life better for the area’s 20,000 carers.

Younger carers generated ideas about how they can improve their health with help from the Carers’ Centre. “There’s been an incredible array of suggestions from these young people,” said Roy Maguire, Senior Young Carers’ Officer. “We shall use these to design a programme of support to improve physical and mental well-being, promote healthier eating and create ways to get fitter and be more active.”

At the event, workshops for adult carers generated feedback on how the Centre should grow and develop, provide the right support, include carers more in its work and become sustainable for the future. “It was an exciting and action-packed day,” said Sonia Hutchison, Chief Executive. “Our charity aims to be led by the carers we support and we can only achieve this by listening to them and making sure they are involved.”

Everyone who took part in the Have Your Say Day was able to take a break and try something different. Music workshops, art therapy and a sunlit walk along Bath’s Linear Park gave carers the chance to refresh and take time out. “Having time for a hobby, to relax or enjoy exercise is really important if you are a carer,” added Sarah Dixon, Senior Carers’ Breaks Officer. “A major part of the Centre’s remit is to ensure the people we support can take time that’s just for them through our Give Us A Break programme.”

The Centre recently won a grant of £298,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to provide 3 years of breaks for 1,500 local carers. Many of these will take place at the new Bath Carers’ Centre, part-funded by a £30,000 grant from the Medlock Trust. Situated on the Lower Bristol Road, activities  available for carers include: art, tai chi, support groups, workshops and social events.