Residents from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole who look after or support a relative, friend or neighbour and are unpaid will be celebrated during Carers Week (7-14 June) for the contribution they make to their community. They will also be encouraged to reach out for support and advice.
The theme of this year’s campaign is to Make Caring Visible and Valued, 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.
This year, carers are continuing to face new challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support, and may have felt isolated.
Following the lifting of national restrictions, BCP Council will be working with partners to coordinate a local Carers Week of activities later in the summer, where there will be opportunities for carers to access a range of face-to-face support and social events.
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. Carers can access all of this by emailing CRISP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support is also available for young carers aged under 18, who can contact BCP Council’s Early Help Team at email@example.com or by calling 01202 262626.
Councillor Karen Rampton, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, BCP Council said:
“Caring for a loved one can be very isolating and lonely at times, so it is important that carers are recognised for the important help they are providing, and given access to information, help and support during this challenging time. I would like to acknowledge and thank all those who have been providing care and support to loved ones throughout the last year of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty for their commitment and dedication – your efforts have helped us immeasurably in responding to the Covid crisis.
“We are looking forward to being able to offer a wider range of activities later this summer to thank all our carers for the wonderful contribution they have made their community, especially during the Covid-19 crisis.”
A local carer said:
"I often feel overwhelmed and isolated especially during the lockdowns. The CRISP group helps to remind me that many other carers are in the same position.
“The zoom meetings have been a really enjoyable way to have some special time to relax and think of other things. The positive side of being able to try new experiences in the comfort and privacy of your own home is an added bonus.
“Thank you all for putting together such a diverse menu of activities.”
Further information on help and services for carers can be found on the BCP Council website.