Carers Week

This Carers Week, we have a message from Carer's Centre Bath and North East Somerset who need your help to reach more unpaid carers.

Research by Carers UK is alarming and shows unpaid or family carers are being forgotten during the Coronavirus crisis. There are over 20,000 carers aged 5 years and up in BaNES and over 80% of them are now under greater pressure than ever before. You can help us to support them by referring or signposting to us. We're still here to help. Refer an unpaid or family carer for support

We’re still here to provide support We’ve extended our Support Line hours, now open Monday - Friday 8.15am – 3pm every weekday. Carers can call free on 0800 0388 885 or email Support as life changes Caring doesn’t stay the same. We're also here to help those who are new to caring. Planning for emergencies Now more important than ever, we can help carers to think through what a contingency plan might look like. Apply for grants White goods, tablets or similar electronics to support with the caring role. Help with employment We understand the complexities of juggling work and caring and can help carers through this. Help to look after themselves We understand the barriers many carers can face in looking after themselves. We can help carers find the right support for them. Support you with technology We know that carers can lack confidence in accessing support online or using technology to help with caring. We can help. Give quick, accessible information We can point carers to online sources of support or email/post information regarding caring. We're online too! We have added a Coronavirus Hub on our website with further advice and information for carers, including how to create a Support Plan or Emergency Plan for the crisis.

We're still supporting carers to stay well and connected With all of us needing to stay at home and keep our physical distance from others, it’s more important than ever that carers look after themselves. We're running a virtual breaks programme Including activities such as yoga, mindfulness and even gardening. We hope carers find something to interest them, take some time out for themselves and feel connected with other carers. We can help carers overcome barriers to accessing services online (such as sorting grants to pay for technology and support sessions to get carers on to their first zoom session!) Carers can book a place here or by calling the Support Line on 0800 0388 885. Our Carer Cafes will be moving online later in May. Carers can find out more by calling the Support Line on 0800 0388 885. We've also started a new Facebook Group for carers to chat with others about their hobbies and interests - from books to pets, gardening to crafting, films to cooking and beyond! We’ll also be holding some fun challenges and friendly competitions. We hope this group gives carers new ideas of things they can try at home to take some time out and look after their wellbeing. Carers can join the group here. There's more wellbeing information for carers on the Staying Well page in our Coronavirus Hub. See our virtual breaks programme

We're still here for young carers too! We are sending weekly updates to all young carer families by email and are busy calling families to check in. We have some fun activities for families coming up including an afternoon of games, challenges, magic and dancing on 9th May and a family quiz on the 15th May. Find out more and book here. Our Support Line is also there to support carers of all ages, including young carers. Find more details here Finally, we've created a new Young Carer Activity Booklet, for off-screen activities which has been sent to all primary age young carers.

Supporting carers to get to grips with technology Now more than ever, technology can be helpful in supporting our wellbeing. On our Coronavirus Hub, our Tech Navigators have chosen a series of links that they have found to help carers become more confident.

Best wishes, BaNES Carers' Centre Team