Stunned Hartlepool group picks up a Royal honour - now it wants to hear from you
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Chief executive Christine Fewster-Smith said: “I didn’t believe it when we first found out. It is such a prestigious honour.
"It is the most prestigious one you could get. We are thrilled that what we are doing for the people of the town has been recognised.”
The award reflects the huge difference that the group has made in the 28 years since it first formed. It represents 4,000 adult carers, thousands of children, and has 42 volunteers.
But thousands more unpaid carers are thought to be doing vital work in Hartlepool.
"We know that we probably only represent 40 per cent of the people who are doing care work in Hartlepool,” said Christine.
"We believe that there are at least 10,000 carers in Hartlepool and that number may even have gone up because of the pandemic.”
The group offers information, advice and guidance. It also assesses local authorities to make sure carers get the right support.
But the carers support goes even further.
It has stepped in with numerous projects since Covid-19 first hit in the UK.
They have included free boxes of food which only registered carers could apply for,
The Carers Tech Service loaned laptops and tablets to people so they could keep in touch with friends and family.
The Spread A Little Sunshine scheme saw packs containing a herb garden and sunflowers, art and craft materials, sensory materials, games such as playing cards and dominoes, help with baking, and nail and foot care all going to care homes.
To find out more about the current support available from Hartlepool Carers, visit https://www.hartlepoolcarers.org.uk/ or call (01429) 283095.