Shropshire Community Council
PUBLISHED: 17:20 17 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:23 20 February 2013
The Community Council of Shropshire is celebrating its golden jubilee and the contribution of the county's army of carers
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The Community Council of Shropshire is celebrating its golden jubilee and the contribution of the countys army of carers
Do you know of a person in Shropshire who is caring for a family member, friend or neighbour without any help or support?
The Community Council of Shropshire (CCS) is on a mission to find these carers so that its specialist team of support workers can provide assistance and advice.
"Across the countys towns and rural communities there is a hidden army of carers, part of the UKs secret service of people which provides an estimated 87 billion worth of unpaid support to family, friends and neighbours," says Celia MacIntyre, head of Service, Family Carers and Community Well Being at the CCS.
Every year, as part of National Carers Week from June 13 to 19, the CCS Carers Support Service celebrates the contribution that these carers make by holding events across the county.
This year it is organising a range of activities during Carers Week, including a recital in Bayston Hill, a Victorian picnic in Shrewsbury as part of Shropshire Olympian Festival, a summer fayre in Market Drayton and a walk at Dudmaston Hall near Bridgnorth.
The support service helps some 4,000 carers across Shropshire. This, however, is just the tip of the iceberg, with an estimated 30,000 plus carers living in the county.
Finding these people is essential if they are to receive the help CCS Carers Support Workers can offer them.
To assist with this goal the Community Council is recruiting carers and other volunteers to act as ambassadors, working in their local communities to raise awareness about carers and encourage people who provide unpaid help to family, friends and neighbours to seek information and support.
Celia says: "One of the stresses for long term carers can be having no break from their role. This often leaves them subject to emotional and physical exhaustion, which affects their health and well-being.
"Having just a little help and being able to take a break helps family carers carry on, improves their lives and the life of those for whom they look after. This is why we want to reach out to the hidden people who are carrying out this role with no support.
"As well as guidance and advice, we provide a range of activities which can help them take a vital break from their everyday stresses and strains."
For example, a new fly-fishing group formed with the help of local fisheries and instructors, offers the opportunity to learn a new hobby while relaxing in beautiful Shropshire countryside.
This regular group meets monthly at locations such as Pontestbury, Onny Vale and Ellerdine and has already had some success with one of the group catching a 1.5 lb trout which he ate for his supper!
Alfie Dean from Shrewsbury, a carer for his son, joined the group six months ago. Fishing was a new experience for Alfie and he is now a real enthusiast. While fishing at Onny Vale Fisheries near Bishops Castle he says he can, "just forget things when I am fishing and let go of any stresses." The group is now looking for any experienced anglers to come forward and share their expertise, by contacting Diane Cuff on 01743 341995.
The Carers Support Team is funded by the Council and PCT to provide services including information, advice and support, training workshops, a quarterly newsletter and carers assessments. â–
If you would like to help out at Carers Week events or volunteer to support carers visit website www.shropshire-rcc.org.uk/carers or ring 01743 341995.
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