On the Noticeboard

Carers Week 12th to 18th June: A national campaign drumming up support to help with the challenges carers face

Carers Week logo

Please recognise the impact of informal caring to UK families and communities by supporting carers in their roles and recognising their individual needs.  Unpaid carers across the UK save the economy over £132 billion.

There are an estimated 36,000 individuals in Southampton with unpaid caring responsibilities.  They could be looking after a grandparent with dementia, an adult sibling with a serious mental health condition, a child with a disability, a partner with cancer, a parent with a life limiting condition or a neighbour who is struggling with health issues.  (This describes just a small range of the situations).  Many of them in work struggle to manage their care responsibilities and have little or no work life balance.  So many end up leaving employment due to that strain.

More information can be found on the Carers Week website or download the carer checklist to establish what you can do.  Scroll down to read about our local #BearCarer campaign.  In Southampton:

We ask organisations to be aware of any employees who have caring responsibilities and sign up to our Carer Friendly Company charter.

Organisations can also help by offering a discount to any clients/customers who have caring responsibilities through our Carers Card scheme.

Our #BearCarer campaign

Our very special #BearCarer bears have extra caring responsibilities beside everything else in their lives.  To raise awareness of the invisible but essential work of the thousands of people taking care of family members and friends across Southampton, we invite you to create a photo opportunity with these special bears.  During #CarersWeek #BearCarer bears are out exploring the city jungle.  If you spot one, please take a Selfie with the bear and post it to Twitter or Facebook at #BearCarer or send it to us via email enquiries@carersinsouthampton.co.uk

A special thank you to U Support, a Southampton charity who provide special experiences for children who are either disabled, disadvantaged or suffering from a life limiting condition.  U Support kindly releasead supersized bear Huggy to help #BearCarer campaign.

Show you care. Selfie with a bear at #BearCarer

Huggy cares for his grandmother who has problems with her mobility.  He also volunteers for U Support.

Edward is in his early 20s (we think he is 21 years old).  He has been looking after his mum for at least ten years.  His mum has Multiple Sclerosis. Edward does not get much help from his fellow bear friends or his bear family and has also chosen not to tell the big bear boss about his caring responsibilities outside of work.  On several occasions he has been late for work.

Trinity has a young family and cares for her cub who has Epilepsy, and also for her husband who is off work on long-term sick leave with a serious mental health condition.  Trinity is exhausted and barely able to cope with her caring roles.  Trinity does not look after herself properly even though she has to inject herself four times a day with insulin to manage her own diabetes.

Rosie is a single middle-aged mum.  She looks after her daughter who has moderate learning disabilities.  Rosie has been managing well but is not altogether sure she is receiving all or the correct benefits for her daughter.

Issy is a young Asian female bear who looks after several bears who live nearby to her cave. She regularly forages for one who has arthritis, undertakes some tree pruning / gardening for another who has a sight impairment and cleans another cave for a neighbour who has mobility problems.

Bogdan is a Polish bear.  He has been settled the UK for the last seven years.  He and Mrs Bear look after their five-year-old cub who has severe Autism.  Bogdan speaks better English than his wife but he struggles to understand how he should answer the questions on the benefit forms and what help may be available for his cub.

Buddy is retired. He looks after his wife who has been diagnosed with Dementia.  Buddy feels alone because he only has a few bear friends he knows and talks to occasionally but he has no family bears. The only time Buddy goes out is to buy the ingredients for their jam sandwiches and take his wife to the memory cafes run by the Admiral Nurses.