Caring for the carers with Shropshire Community Council

PUBLISHED: 11:14 20 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:04 20 February 2013

Gail Bonella-Foster, carers’ support worker

Gail Bonella-Foster, carers’ support worker

Shropshire has a network of support for those who dedicate their lives to looking after others

Carers need care

Shropshire has a network of support for those who dedicate their lives to looking after others

Thousands of people in Shropshire dedicate their time to providing unpaid care to a relative or friend who is ill, frail or disabled.

Because of the time and energy they give to looking after their loved ones, carers are rarely able to pursue a life of their own.

They give so much to society it is essential that they do not sacrifice their own lives as a result. However, all too often, that is what happens.
Carers miss out on basic things that most people take for granted: a weekend away, opportunity for job promotion, a meal out, even the chance to have a long bath or a full nights sleep.

The reasons for this vary from inadequate respite care, lack of information and practical support, difficulties balancing work with caring responsibilities and financial hardship as a result of caring.

The support that carers give to society is vast they save the state an estimated 87 billion and three in five people will become a carer at some point.

Carers Week, from June 14 to 18, is held every year to raise the profile of the work that carers do and help them to receive the help they need and deserve.

This year the week will focus on A Life Of My Own and The Community Council of Shropshire and other organisations in the county will be running activities and events to support carers.

Celia MacIntyre, Head of Family Carers and Community Well Being
at the Community Council, said:

We hope that the week will outline why supporting carers is crucial and what needs to be changed to improve their lives.

The Community Council has a specialist team, funded by Shropshire Council and the PCT, which provides vital help to hundreds of carers throughout the county, offering guidance and support on an on-going basis.

As well as a free Information Line the Community Council can help carers to access:

Assessments of needs andcircumstances
Benefits checks and help with finances
A wide range of learning opportunities
An emergency respite scheme
A creative writing project
A number of support groups
A twice-yearly newsletter.

It has never been more important to celebrate and support the contribution made by carers, said Celia.

If you would like ay further information about any of the issues in this article please contact the Carers Information Line on 01743 341995.

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