AN important town organisation is celebrating its 20th year of providing help and support to Hartlepool’s most caring residents.
Hartlepool Carers Centre, based on the corner of Raby Road and Lowthian Road, in Hartlepool, has been the cornerstone of the caring community for two decades.
Its workers and volunteers help to provide emotional, physical and financial help for those people who care for someone with a mental or physical disability.
Its 20th birthday coincides with the same birthday of National Carers week.
To celebrate, staff and volunteers are holding an event at Cafe 177, in York Road, between 11am and 3pm on Friday, June 13, to raise awareness of the importance of providing help to carers of all ages, but especially the young, who are often forgotten by society.
Manager Karen Gibson said: “We’re very proud to still be here after 20 years. It’s really difficult getting funding but there are so many people that need our help that we continue to do our best. When a lot of people give to charities they don’t think about carers. We’d love more support from people and we hope that by doing articles like this then we can raise more awareness.”
Hartlepool Carers has 1,400 adults who care for friends or relatives on its books, but Karen says the real figure is around 10,000 in a town the size of Hartlepool. She also said there are 90 young carers linked to the organisation, some as young as just five years old.
We know we are just hitting the tip of the iceberg because a lot of people don’t identify themselves as carers,” she said. “For example, if your mum or husband fell ill with a physical or mental illness, then you would probably think it was your duty to care for them. But many carers have to give up their jobs and end up with physical or mental issues themselves because of the caring role they do.”
To book a place at the event ring (01429) 283095.