A huge new push to help Hartlepool's silent army of carers - and here is how you can help
You are valued and we are determined to help. That’s the message which went out today to unsung heroes across Hartlepool who are working as unpaid carers.
A hidden army of people is believed to exist in town but Hartlepool Carers group is launching a three-year project to find them and provide them with the support they deserve.
The plan has been unveiled in time for National Carers Week which starts on June 7.
Hartlepool is planning to play a huge part and Christine Fewster, chief executive of Hartlepool Carers, explained more.
"This year’s focus is on “Making Carers Visible and Valued” so we are launching a new training offer for our whole community. Training will enable local businesses, local authority and health departments, school and community groups to identify any unpaid carers they maybe working with, to ensure our caring community have access to the right support at the right time.”
Two different training packages are available. One will identify and work with young carers. The other will support adults with caring responsibilities.
“The project is for 3 years,” said Christine, “and we want to ensure everyone has access to this training offer. Raising awareness of caring will help support families, build strength as well as resilience across our town.
“The training offer is free, and we would be delighted to work with anyone interested.”
But that is only one part of Hartlepool’s contribution to National Carers Week.
Virtual and face to face sessions will be held on topics such as ‘Cake and Coffee’, ‘Bingo’, ‘Wellness Walking’, and ‘Friday fitness’.
Christine added: “We are also asking our town to ‘Light our community blue’ in recognition of carers across our town.
"The last year has been challenging for all but unpaid carers have shown strength, resilience and dedication to their loved ones, ensuring they are cared for not just throughout the pandemic but each and every day.
"While many services closed their doors and services had reduced capacity, unpaid carers were our army in ensuing our most vulnerable remained safe and well.
“So we ask throughout Carers Week, light a window blue, wear something blue or use blue ribbons to represent Carers Week.”
Christine also issued a rallying call to businesses, schools and community organisations. She said: “We ask for you to sign up to ‘Wear Blue’ where people can donate £1 for wearing blue and all donations will be used to help carers here in Hartlepool.”
Hartlepool Carers has stepped in with numerous projects since Covid-19 first hit in the UK.
They have included;
l Free boxes of food which only registered carers can apply for.
l The Talking Tuesdays project which helps people with advice on how to keep safe, making the most of your finances and cancer awareness.
l Support for families in Hartlepool who are in isolation or finding it difficult to get their shopping in.
To find out more about Hartlepool’s involvement in National Carers Week, visit https://www.hartlepoolcarers.org.uk/ or call (01429) 283095.