Event shines spotlights on needs and rights of Hartlepool's army of unpaid carers
A big community event helped many unpaid carers know their rights and get better connected.
Hartlepool Carers laid on a host of activities and linked up with partner organisations across three different venues to raise awareness on national Carers Rights Day.
They set up home in Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre giving out information while Community Hub Central, in York Road, was buzzing with fun activities.
Christine Fewster, the chief executive of Hartlepool Carers, said: “Covid really impacted last year and limited what we could do.
"This year has been one of our biggest events. We have never held it over three venues before.
"It was about bringing back bigger and better than pre Covid.
"We know that footfall was increased and that carers have received information that’s really helped them get the right services that they need.”
Hartlepool Carers joined with 15 other community organisations in Middleton Grange to give out information to shoppers from a stand outside B&M.
They included details of how and where to get help for issues including mental health, finances, food and social activities to reduce feelings of isolation.
Over at Community Hub Central there was more information stands and plenty for people to enjoy with therapy dogs and laser engraving to African drumming, and singer Erin Frances.
Magician Graeme Shaw and caricature artist Barrie James Art also added to the day, and Hartlepool United mascot H’Angus monkeyed around.
Christine added: “It was great to see people meet new friends and agree to support each other in the community as we move forward.”
Carers were also able to indulge in a spot of pampering as Learning Curve Beauty Academy in the Gemini Centre gave manicures and pedicures.
Carers Rights Day is held annually to help unpaid carers understand their rights and be able to access support as soon as they need it.
Carers UK say the pandemic has had a massive impact on the lives of carers, affecting access to services, and many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older.
Hartlepool Carers, based in Lowthian Road, has several more upcoming events panned.
See their Facebook page or call (01429) 283095 for details.