Carers Gloucestershire chief calls for more caring communities

Carers Gloucestershire chief calls for more caring communities

Carers Gloucestershire, the local charity that has been supporting unpaid carers for more than 25 years, is asking for individuals and organisations to help carers to feel more connected to their local communities during this year’s Carers Week.

The annual campaign, which takes place from June 11 – 18, raises the awareness of and celebrates the UK’s seven million unpaid carers, this year with a focus on the theme of helping carers to stay healthy and connected.

“We know that in Gloucestershire alone, there are at least 63,000 carers, that’s more than 1 in 10 of the population,” says Carers Gloucestershire Chief Executive, Tim Poole.

“It’s a sobering thought that in Gloucestershire today, about 15 people will unexpectedly become an unpaid carer. A phone call or a diagnosis will lead to the same result, a life changed.

“One of the biggest issues for carers is isolation, feeling invisible while the world goes on around them. Connecting carers is all about bridging that gap and making it easier for carers to feel part of their community, recognised and supported.

With around 12,500 carers in the county spending 50 hours or more a week in their caring role, for many it is all consuming. For some it may be manageable but for others it can be devastating, affecting every aspect of their life.”

With the Carers Week message focusing on helping carers to stay healthy and connected, Tim says that it’s essential for the wellbeing of those caring for loved ones that they are able to enjoy a life of their own alongside their caring role and feel part of their local community.

“This year, Carers Gloucestershire has decided not to hold one big Carers Week event, but support activities and events taking place within local communities within Gloucestershire,” said Tim.

“It’s in these very communities that carers need to be recognised, welcomed and supported, so we are heartened to see such a great range of events for carers to enjoy, while helping to raise awareness across the county.”

Activities for carers taking place within Gloucestershire include free walking rugby sessions led by Gloucester Rugby in Cinderford, Gloucester and Stroud, a mindfulness walk from Crickley Hill, a pampering day for black and ethnic minority carers in Gloucester and a carers wellbeing day at Dursley Library. Bourton on the Water and Tewkesbury Leisure Centres are among those offering free passes for carers during Carers Week. A full list of events is on the Carers Gloucestershire website.

“I’d ask people to take the opportunity, not just in this Carers Week but throughout the year to reach out to those whose lives have been affected by caring,” said Tim.

“Sometimes a simple ‘hello’, a conversation at the gate is all it takes to begin to make a carer feel less isolated, which in turn helps improve their own health and wellbeing.

“With one in three people likely to be affected by caring responsibilities in some form or another during their lifetime, one day that could be you or me.”
Carers Gloucestershire offers services and support for carers including advice and guidance, positive caring courses, carer-to-carer support, counselling, support groups and day trips for carers.

Click here for more information about Carers Week 2018.