First some background to the national campaign.
There are some important figures in there.
Then scroll down to see what we did throughout the week.
Summary below of Carers Week Research report 2015 09 March 2016
The life chances of many of the 6.5 million people in the UK who care, unpaid, for a disabled, older or ill family member or friend, are being damaged by inadequate support from local services, according to new research launched today for Carers Week 2016.
With this in mind, Carers Week 2016 will continue to focus on helping individuals, services and businesses to build Carer Friendly Communities – places where local people and services support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that carers are individuals with needs of their own.
Carers Week 2016 is made possible by Carers UK joining forces with national charities Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, Motor Neurone Disease Association and MS Society. Click on any logo below to go to the carer section of their websites.
Background to the NATIONAL campaign: Building Carer Friendly Communities
Three-quarters of carers (74%) with some of the most intensive caring responsibilities say their community does not understand or value their caring role, resulting in high numbers of carers struggling to balance other areas of their lives alongside caring.
The Carers Week research shows that when carers are supported by their community, they face far fewer barriers to having a life outside of their caring role:4
- Carers who are supported by their communities are three times more likely to always be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle (27% compared with 9%)
- Carers who are supported by their communities are three times more likely to always be able to maintain relationships with close friends and family (29% compared with 9%)
- Carers who are not supported by their communities are more than twice as likely to never be able to balance work with care (35% compared with 15%)
- Carers who are not supported by their communities are more than twice as likely to never be able to balance education with care (47% compared with 23%)
Emily Holzhausen, who leads the Carers Week partnership, said:
“Carers have told us that it makes a huge difference to their lives when they are supported by their local services and communities; whether that’s being offered a flexible appointment to see their GP, having flexible working policies from their employers, or their school raising awareness of caring and disability.
“Despite this, the majority of carers told us that their local community was not supportive of their caring role, which in turn is having a significant and negatively impact on their life chances.
“This report comes at an opportune moment, with a new Carers’ Strategy in development in England, and new governments forming across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We’re calling on individuals, organisations and governments to think about what they can do to improve the lives of carers in their community.”
The whole community
Every high street, every community service, every leisure facility has a role to play in making sure they are accessible to carers. Many are in a perfect position to make a difference by recognising carers and connecting them to the help and support available.
The most important step any organisation or individual can take towards being carer friendly is to adopt a carer friendly attitude. Such an attitude recognises the contribution carers make to their families and communities and seeks to remove the barriers which can leave carers feeling excluded, whoever and wherever they are.
Here are some practical ideas for using Carers Week to remove these barriers from within families and every corner of the community.
Around one in eight members of your community group could be caring at any given time. These numbers will be higher if you have older people or women in your group, for example (though 4 out of 10 carers are men).
Many people with caring responsibilities don’t think of themselves as carers, and they can often miss out on advice and information.
- Talk about caring for relatives and close friends at one of your meetings.
- Provide leaflets at your next group meeting.
- Send round email links to support and information.
- Invite someone along to talk to the group about caring.
- Recognise that some of your group members might have difficulty attending meetings or taking part in activities. Are there ways that you could help make it possible? Could you offer lifts to and from meetings? Could they happen at different times to make it possible for them to attend?
Whether you run a local café or work in the high street bank, there’s lots you can do to help carers. At least one in eight of your customers will be a carer.
- Ensure your business is disability and dementia friendly. This really helps to improve carers’ lives.
- Advertise the things you do have, such as flexible home delivery, free entry for carers if they are with a disabled person, or different or flexible appointment times.
- Put up posters for Carers Week, if you can, and have a few leaflets around.
Families and friends are an essential source of support for carers, providing emotional and practical help with their caring role.
Not all carers find it easy to talk to relatives and friends about the care they are providing, and the strain it places on them. The stresses and pressures of caring can make it difficult to maintain relationships with friends and relatives.
If a family member has taken on a caring role, you may feel a mixture of guilt and relief that they are doing that role rather than you. These feelings and relationships are complicated and can be awkward.
But if you avoid them by withdrawing from the relationship or pretending that caring has no impact on your family member, then it’s time to get things out in the open.
As carers’ friends and family members, Carers Week gives you a great opportunity to talk to them about their caring role, understand what they do and its impact on them, practically and emotionally. Find out about simple things you can do to help:
- Ask a simple question to a carer among your friends and family members. What is caring like for you? Then listen.
- Find out about the technology available to help co-ordinate care among larger groups of people, or enable caring to take place at a distance..
THE CAMPAIGN IN ACTION:
An overview of what we did in SOUTHAMPTON during Carers Week.
Please click PLAY button below to see video:
— CarersinSouthampton (@CarersinSoton) June 9, 2016
We created this to give meaning to our campaign, encouraging citizens to identify unpaid carers known to them and do some small act, one off or regular, to support them e.g mow a lawn, help with small errands, perhaps invite someone for a coffee. For organisations and business, this might mean identifying employees, customers or service users and rethinking practices to address their needs. Click #ValueACarer to see all the posts under the Hashtag
Visit these links for suggestions of how we could all do to make our communities more carer friendly:
Our first post while our office became a flower preparation zone!:
National Carers Week 6-12 June 2016 #ValueACarer
Look out for 5000 flowers being handed out around the city next week by carers and staff members from CIS, to recognise the unpaid commitment carers make to the wellbeing of loved ones or friends and to raise awareness of the support on offer.
Identify what you can do to support unpaid carers in their vital role.
Together we can change lives across Southampton
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges that carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.
Get involved now by pledging your support, helping us to build Carer Friendly communities.
Carers often enable people who would be dependent on professional care staff, or even in a hospice, hospital or care home, to remain in their own homes and to continue with their normal lives.
Many people often act as carers without realising that they’re doing so and without accessing the support services that are available to them. Southampton City Council has developed e-learning packages that can be found online.
Carers come from all walks of life and are of all ages. Young carers in the city are supported through the Southampton Young Carers Project via Southampton Voluntary Services. Adult carers are supported by Carers in Southampton (CIS).
Recognising the value of carers in our community and saying thank you
In this week of carer recognition, with our other partner charities, we are handing out flowers to people around Southampton, asking those who receive them to hand them on as a gift to an unpaid carer as an acknowledgement and thanks for the invaluable contribution they make to our community. Our community relies on unpaid carers.
Photo diary of the week
Handing out flowers for carers across the city. One very happy recipient!
Delivering special pharmacy bags across the city:
Places we visited:
We handed out flowers across the city at commuter points, at GPs, at charities, on the streets……
This prompted some lovely tweets. See below:
Flowers were delivered to:
Parkinson’s UK Southampton branch meeting.
Southampton Mencap Carers Afternoon Tea with Retro Rita
To celebrate Carers Week and to give carers a treat, Southampton Mencap invited their carers to an afternoon tea with entertainment provided by Retro Rita, sining songs from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Each guest was also provided with a flower to thank them for all their valuable work. It was a lovely afternoon with lots of singing along and music making.
We popped into Mencap Southampton Carers Lunch and joined in with Retro Rita and her lovely songs
Solent NHS Trust have been helping to hand out flowers in support of Carers Week:
- At Highpoint members of staff were given flowers – with a focus on ‘are you a member of staff caring for someone’.
- Patient and Public Experience Co-ordinator Christine Gregson visted Lower Brambles Ward, Fanshawe Ward, The Sexual Health Service & SPA (single point of access) at the RSH. She also handed out flowers also gave members of the public (who were pushing wheelchairs in the sunshine or sitting on the benches outside and in the waiting area at the RSH). They were absolutely thrilled. All said they cared for someone and how thoughtful this was.
- She also visited Nicholstown surgery and Adelaide GP surgery – the surgeries will be handing out flowers to carers. She went to see patients on Snowdon ward and an information table has been set up in the atrium of Adelaide health centre.
Mandy Rayani, Chief Nurse for Solent has made the following comment.
‘Solent NHS Trust is proud to support national carers week
and the local campaign being led by Carers in Southampton –
Congratulations Carers in Southampton on a fantastic campaign’
We walked the length of Shirley High Street and surrounding streets with Dawn fom the Alzheimers Society
We also had help with flower preparation and handing them out from:
Sam at Healthwatch Southampton
Volunteers from Above Bar Church
Age UK Southampton
Interview at Unity 101.@Unity101FM
Listen again here: http://bit.ly/1Uw1k6q
Mike Ktomi went to Voice FM and The Breeze radio stations and The Daily Echo to deliver flowers and talk about the issues carers face on a daily basis. He speaks not only from his experience as a case worker but from his personal experience of years taking care of his own father.
Mike Ktomi on Voice FM The Business with Xan Phillips
Want to hear great tunes+some chat about things that actually matter? Click below to listen here to Mike Ktomi chatting to Xan Phillips (at 2:03:30 on the slider):
Then one colleague headed off to BBC Radio Solent to introduce some of our carers to the excellent interviewer Sasha Twining:
Very poignant insights from two carers on BBC Radio Solent.
Click here http://bbc.in/24waHZD and slide the time bar to 02:10 to hear the interview.
Another colleague popped off to give some flowers to a Parkinsons UK support group.
See here for details of how to contact that group: http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/local-support-groups/regions/southampton-branch
And another colleague went off to give flowers and help out at Memory Cafe Tea Dance
@Anchor_Trust in Mayflower Court.
Then after working at the office, a small team headed off to Bedford Place and the surrounding area where we were incredibly well received by many many businesses, including banks, solicitors, hairdressers, podiatrists, central library, art gallery, shops and many other employer environments. We want to ensure that businesses understand the message about carer friendly practices. Sorry, no photos, but lots of warm welcomes and we hope that if you are in that area you might pick up a flower.
The Echo printed an article to support the week.
We visited all the GP surgeries in SO14….
Including Bargate Medical Centre and all of Portswood High Street. Here is a happy pharmacist at Day Lewis Pharmacy in Portswood High Street
We also visited Townhill Park, Bassett, Harefield and Bitterne.
We were ALL at the Red Funnel Terminal greeting commuters:
On Thursday we took the last of our #ValueACarer flowers to GP surgeries in SO16.
Here we are at Spitfire Surgery where we met one carer who was thrilled to receive a flower.
Then we were in Sainsbury’s, talking to carers.
And after more work at the office, a small team set off again… to Sainsbury’s who supported this campaign wholeheartedly:
Southampton agencies who give specific support to carers
Please note that most charities supporting specific needs e.g. Solent Mind, Macmillan Cancer, Age UK, Alzheimers Society, Stroke Association to mention just a few, also offer support to carers. Most of them are listed in our directory.
CARERS IN SOUTHAMPTON
Meon House rear of 18 Portswood Road,
AREA COVERED Southampton
T:023 8058 2387
E:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com W: www.carerstogether.org.uk
SCA COMMUNITY CARE SERVICES
Amplevine House Dukes Road,
THE CHILDREN’S SOCIETY – YOUNG CARERS INITIATIVE
Unit 4 – Wessex Business Park,
DESCRIPTION A social club for Adult Placement Carers and their residents, living in Southampton. We eet at various venues on different days. Please contact us for futher details or a programme. We aim to provide information, support and social events for adult placements, carers and their clients. We also aim to promote the benefits of adult placement as a form of care for vulnerable adults.
- Shared lives – A guide to the shared lives scheme for potential carersWhat is shared lives? Shared lives is a scheme run by Southampton City Council. Individuals and families provide care in their home for up to three people with disabilities, aged over 18. Care is offered to individuals who will benefit from living in the community…
- Do you need help with care at home?SPECTRUM is an organisation that helps disabled people. We are currently working with Southampton City Council to assist people who want to control their own care using Direct Payments Direct payments is a government scheme where people are paid money to employ their own carers …
SOUTHAMPTON YOUNG CARERS PROJECT
Southampton Young Carers Project provides a service for children and young people aged between 8 – 18yrs whose lives are affected by caring for an unwell or disabled family member. The person they care for may have a physical or learning disability, mental ill health, chronic illness or have difficulties with drug/alcohol use.
Research has shown that this caring role can impact on a young person’s social, developmental, emotional, educational and physical well being.
After being referred to our project a young carer can expect the following from the project:
- Information and guidance
- A break away from home and their caring responsibilities
- A chance to meet other young carers and make new friends
- Fun, laughs and new opportunities
- To be listened to and have a voice
- To be provided with a range of support
When a young carer joins the Project they are allocated a project worker who provides them with an initial home visit which includes: an assessment of their caring role, action planning, one to one support and sign posting to other agencies, as appropriate.
Next Steps workers are a brance of Southampton Young Carers Project. They can support people between ages 18-25 who are Young Carers, Care Leavers and young people leaving Youth Offending Institutions to make successful transitions, overcome barriers and realise their potential. They will support you by identifying what your needs are and together make a plan to achieve these.
In Addition to this a young carer may also be offered:
• Evening youth groups
• School support for secondary school aged young people
• Day trips, activities, residential and workshops
To refer a Young Carer please download our referral form here and then send the completed form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Southampton Young Carers Project, Kingsland Square, St Marys Street, Southampton, SO14 1NW.
For further enquires…
CONTACT US 023 8022 8291, any time between 9am and 2pm