Residents from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole who look after or support a relative, friend or neighbour and are unpaid will be celebrated for the contribution they make to their community. They will also be encouraged to reach out for support and advice during Carers Week (8-14 June). The theme of the campaign is to Make Carers Visible, raising awareness of caring, highlighting the challenges unpaid carers face, and to encourage those who don't think of themselves as carers to access much-needed support.
Carers Week will see many individuals and organisations come together to provide support for carers, run activities and highlight the vital role carers play in our communities. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are vulnerable and need support, particularly during the current Covid-19 crisis.
Carers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole can access a dedicated Carer Support Service called CRISP (Carers Resource Information Support Programme) which is free and available all year round to carers of all ages. The service provides ongoing support and information as well as offering access to a friendly community of other local unpaid carers. During Carers Week, carers will be able to access activities, including sessions on creative writing, bingo, creative and cooking., which will be held via Zoom. Carers can access these sessions by emailing CRISP: email@example.com
Support is also available for young carers aged under 18, who can contact BCP Council’s Early Help Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01202 262626.
Councillor Lesley Dedman, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said:
“We wish to highlight the incredible contribution that unpaid carers make in their community, especially during the Covid-19 crisis. Caring for a loved one can be very isolating and lonely at times, so it is important that these carers are recognised for the important help they are providing, and given access to information, help and support during this challenging time.”
A local resident, who is caring for her husband who has Alzheimer’s Disease said:
‘Like thousands of others I find myself as a sole carer, at the same time dealing with my own health problems. It is a daunting and worrying situation. There is support out there, we need to ask for it. Be kind to yourself.’
If an unpaid carer is self-isolating because of coronavirus symptoms and needs urgent help to access food and essential household items for themselves or the person they usually look after they should contact the Council’s Together We Can community response hotline on: 0300 123 7052, available 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week or visit: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk
Further information on help and services for carers can be found on the BCP Council website.