Dedicated carers got to unwind at a colourful coffee morning as part of a national initiative.
Hartlepool Carers Centre held a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as it supported the Carers Trust’s Britain’s Best Breakfast fundraising initiative to help the UK’s seven million unpaid carers.
Hartlepool’s many unsung heroes got to talk to fellow carers while being served tea, crumpets and other refreshments donated by the town’s Morrisons supermarket.
One of those who attended the event in Lowthian Road was Richard Dorrian, 64, who cares for his wife Janet who has secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
It means Janet is in permanent pain and is slowly losing the use of her legs.
Richard, of Park Road, Hartlepool, who has been going to Hartlepool Carers for over a decade, said: “It is nice to be able to talk to people about the problems you are having at home.
I do all the cooking in the house so it is nice to have someone bring me a cup of teaRichard Dorrian
“They help me fill in any forms and just the fact that they are always there to help if they possibly can.”
He used yesterday’s event to help raise awareness among fellow carers of direct payments and added: “I do all the cooking in the house so it is nice to have someone bring me a cup of tea.”
Staff came up with the idea of making it a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party after the theme roved a hit at a recent event thrown by their young carers.
The colourful costumes were provided free by Eden Costumes at Thorpe Larches near Sedgefield and Incognito in Stockton Road.
Queen of Hearts Karen Gibson, manager of Hartlepool Carers Centre, said:
“We are here to support the informal carers. The trouble is people often don’t see themselves as carers, you are somebody’s wife, husband or relative.
“Britain’s Biggest Breakfast is an awareness raising campaign to highlight carers and their issues and also remind them to look after themselves.
“Carers can put their own needs second and breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, so it has a dual purpose.
“It has been non-stop with people since a quarter to ten.”
Morrisons community champion Leigh Dobson said: “Morrisons loves to get out in the community to take part in events like this.
“I think everybody needs to know this facility is here.”
Crockery for the occasion was provided by a nearby Alice House Hospice charity shop.