All posts by Emma Tucker

“Before I met your volunteer, I wouldn’t have considered myself a carer”

Some Carer Hub cakes made for a special event.

The Carers’ Centre is involved with the Carer Hub information point at the Bath Royal United Hospital. We do this in conjunction with Carers Support Wiltshire, Friends of the RUH and the RUH NHS Trust.

We heard from a carer who was introduced to our service via the Hub. She captures a lot of the thoughts and feelings that we come across so often when talking to people looking after someone. In Kathryn’s words: 

“I’ve been caring for my mum for 5 ½ years now, since my father passed away.   She’s 91 years old and has been in and out of hospital on and off, for around 5 months now, it’s been very stressful.  She is now back at home.  I worry so much about her and feel that I never do enough and that I should be doing more.  She lives independently, and wants to remains so, but fortunately lives within a 30 second walk from my house.  I feel guilty about having time away from her, but luckily I have a very supportive husband who is also very kind and caring to mum, having cared for his parents for many years.

“I was visiting mum in the RUH, Midford Ward, when approached by a Carer Hub volunteer.  She asked which area I lived in and handed me a BANES Carers information leaflet.  Up until that point I had been unaware of the organisation.  I read the leaflet and realised that I could benefit from the wonderful things that were offered, and if other carers could do these things then so could I!  Continue reading “Before I met your volunteer, I wouldn’t have considered myself a carer”

Tracey to run Bristol 10k for carers

Tracey, 58, cares for her husband Paul who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s four years ago. She’s now fundraising for a 10KM run to raise money for the Carers’ Centre.

Tracey at her home

“Last summer, I had a bit of a wobble. Everything with Paul’s diagnosis just hit me – I hated the word Alzheimer’s, dementia, I just didn’t want to hear it. I felt sad with the whole situation, angry, cheated, I felt like this shouldn’t be happening to us.

“I met with a friend who asked me if I was alright and I just broke down and said ‘no, I’m not.’ My friend suggested I call the Carers’ Centre – I have been registered as a carer for a while, but  never needed to use the service. I just hadn’t thought of it.

“I called the centre and spoke to Carers’ Support Officer Lorraine. She was just lovely and so supportive. We talked about how I’d lost my dad earlier in the year and then had my mum staying with us for a couple of months. I’d kept myself so busy, that I hadn’t really grieved for my dad. I was also grieving for Paul too because even though he’s still here, he’s changing.

“I had a few sessions with Lorraine and she said she thought I might benefit from taking part in the Coping with Caring course, which was just great. “

Continue reading Tracey to run Bristol 10k for carers

take time for yourself

Carers discount on reflexology treatment

Many carers struggle with putting themselves first. They run around taking care of everybody else – ignoring their own needs.

Having a bit of me-time is vital and the healthiest thing a carer can do is to stop and consider what measures they can take to care for themselves.

Carer and holistic therapist Anne-Marie Rose, owner of Rose Holistic Treatments, knows the importance of taking time for oneself  and is offering a special discounted rate of £25 on reflexology for carer card holders. Haven’t got a carer card? Enquire here! 

We popped into her business, located on Avondale Road, Bath BA1 3EG to learn more.

Tell us more about your business! What do you do and where are you based?

“I offer wonderfully relaxing massage and reflexology sessions to support women and carers in Bath. The business was set up with the aim of supporting carers by offering low-cost reflexology treatments and the business took off from there. In the three years since I started my business I have been shortlisted for a variety of awards for all my hard work supporting carers and local charities. Rose Holistic Treatments is based in Newbridge, just a 5-10 minute walk from the Bath Carers’ Centre.”

Continue reading take time for yourself

Lost in (Digital) Space…

By Leanna Wall, our new digital coach 

In this day and age, it seems impossible to escape the fact that almost every aspect of life has some form of digital connection; connecting with friends and family via social media, banking, paying bills, shopping, you can even order a taxi at the click of a button. There is virtually nothing that you would normally do day-to-day that you can’t do online.

Great if you know how to use it… daunting if you don’t.

With companies spending so much time and money on developing digital technology, it is sad to think that its’ potential users may feel they are being left behind, with very little or no knowledge of how to use what is available to them, and no one to show them how.

Thankfully, the Carers’ Centre have recognised that there is a real need for support around all things digital. And that’s where I come in! Continue reading Lost in (Digital) Space…

Warm welcome at carer cafe

by Carmen Cooper

‘I nearly didn’t come here today as I had a bit of a wobble,” said Helen, who was making her first visit to the Carer Café at Mardons Social Club in Midsomer Norton.

I knew exactly how she felt, as it was only four weeks ago that I walked into  the Bath Carers’ Centre office to take on my new job as Wellbeing Administrator, and today I was leaving the familiarity of the office and making my first outing to meet and chat with carers.

So when Helen announced to the café co-ordinator that she was a newcomer, I thought: “Great! There’s someone like me.  We newbies should stick together!”

Continue reading Warm welcome at carer cafe

Support Kimberley and Rio in their mega fundraiser!

Kimberley Williams is fundraising for 8 charities in a mammoth campaign to support the organisations who helped her family during the first year of her son Rio’s life. Rio had a number of complications after he was born which meant he was in and out of hospital.

“Rio’s had 2 major surgeries,  spent 45 nights in 4 different hospitals. Hes been under general anaesthetic 3 times, He’s been resuscitated once, He’s had his bowel perforate & his windpipe crushed.  He’s had 5 ambulance rides & so many hospital visits, we once had 6 appointments in 1 week and saw 3 hospitals in 1 day!

“He has been fed by a tube for 8 months, about 30 X-rays, 1 CT scan, 1 sleep study, 10 vaccinations & more blood tests that I can count. All of that with 1 congenital heart anomaly & the addition of 1 very important extra chromosome, 21,” Kimberley said.

Kimberley was referred to the Carers’ Centre by a friend after Rio was born and the complications began.

“It was all a bit of a shock and very difficult as we had no indications anything was wrong while I was pregnant. I had some counselling with the Centre in the first instance, which was very helpful.”

Thanks to the Centre the family were able to go on activities as a family.

“Normal things kind of go out the window so we probably wouldn’t have been able to go on trips or anything if it hadn’t all been organised by the Centre. It enabled us to have a few hours as a family together doing something nice. My other son, Felix, (3) really benefited from this time together to get out and do things.” Continue reading Support Kimberley and Rio in their mega fundraiser!

Here’s how you can get 50% off Yoga Classes here in Bath

Hopefully, you’ve heard that the Carers’ Centre offers a free discount card to all carers living in BaNES and registered with us. If you haven’t heard, now you have!

We sat down with one of our fabulous local businesses that partnered with us in the card scheme, Universal Yoga. Based out of Dunkerton, between Radstock and Bath, this yoga studio offers small classes for any ability. AND with your carer card, you can get 50% off.  Haven’t got a carer card? Enquire here! 

We talked to Kat from Universal Yoga to find out more about who they are.

Tell us more about your business! What do you do & where are you based?

We are based in Dunkerton, Bath and offer yoga classes to all abilities on Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6.30—8pm on both of those nights. We also offer one to one sessions for clients with specific needs.

Who might we meet if we come and visit you?

You’ll meet Tamara and Matthew, our two fantastic yoga teachers. They both offer excellent classes, but they also both offer something different to our students. They teach the same style of yoga but bring their own personality to it. You’ll have to come along to see for yourselves!

What made you want to join the Carer Card scheme?

We are all about being altruistic, this is a huge part of living a yogic lifestyle and we believe being part of a community and sharing with others is so important. People are always stronger together. We wanted to join to show our support to those carers looking after people in an altruistic way themselves.

Do you often come in to contact with carers? 

In my experience, yes. I have had lots of people giving support to my family this year, paid and unpaid carers. Continue reading Here’s how you can get 50% off Yoga Classes here in Bath

Young Carers Awareness Day Focused on Mental Health

Each year, national carers charity Carers Trust organises Young Carers Awareness Day, this year taking place on January 31st. The purpose of the day is to raise public awareness of the challenges faced by young people because of their caring role, and to campaign for greater support for young carers and their needs.

Young carers are more likely to suffer from poor mental health than their peers — so this year’s awareness day will focus on mental health.  Earlier this month we talked to one of the young adult carers we work with, Sue, who talked about her experience caring for her dad and the difference support from the Centre has made.

Sue said: “Friends don’t always understand that I can’t always go out, so I get called boring. I was happy to finally find support to help me feel less alone. The Carers’ Centre has helped my life change for the better.”

Here at the Carers’ Centre Young Carers Service we are responding to this need. We will be focusing more on young people’s mental health in 2019, by launching our new Positive Penguin group (starting this month for primary age young carers) as well as continuing the iCare peer support group, starting back later on in March.  These groups aim to offer a safe space for children and young people to discuss the pressures of caring, challenges they’re facing and to make friends with other young people who are in similar situations.

Continue reading Young Carers Awareness Day Focused on Mental Health

Fundraiser Stories: Bath & the Half give mental health boost to young runner

RUH Administrator Jess Sowton, 25, is running the Bath Half this year in aid of the Carers’ Centre. This is Jess’s second half marathon and she hopes to get close to a two hour run this time around. There’s still time to join Team Carers in this year’s Bath Half — sign up here!

Originally from Hampshire, Jess moved to Bath last year after struggling with her mental health and deciding to step out of her comfort zone.

“I realised that I wasn’t happy with where I was in life — I didn’t really know what I wanted from the future, my mental health was suffering, and I knew I wasn’t challenging myself and felt unsatisfied with everything,” says Jess.

Recent research (the Guardian) shows that more than one in four women aged 16-24 now report symptoms of common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety – a rise from 21% when the study was last carried out in 2007.

Jess felt an improvement in herself after the move.

“I moved out of my flat, left my job, and moved to a new city — enter Bath! I got myself a job and things just fell into place. It was a challenge in terms of pushing myself into so many new environments.

“I am lucky to have family and friends to support me, but by making myself face the fact that I needed to change my situation has made me so much more confident. I want to keep challenging myself to seek the best that I can get out of life.”

As well as uprooting her life, Jess found that exercise really helped her lift her mood and feel fitter and healthier.

Continue reading Fundraiser Stories: Bath & the Half give mental health boost to young runner

Carers Rights Day 2018

Next Friday, the 30th of November, is Carers Rights Day. This is a national awareness day to help make carers aware of their rights and entitlements – for things like benefits, flexibility from employers, supported housing and lots more.

It’s a special day for the Carers’ Centre as well as we are hosting our AGM and our first Caring Community Awards. These awards will recognise and celebrate people, places and organisations in our community that are taking carer awareness seriously and making carers’ lives easier. Thanks to our amazing sponsors Bluebird Care, Curo, Gerrard Financial Consulting, Minuteman Press and Mogers Drewett who have made the event possible.

We’re looking forward to sharing these stories on Carers’ Rights Day to make sure that we help foster a more carer-friendly community. This is one of our key organisational goals. If you’d like to come along to the awards let us know by RSVP-ing here (all the details at the link).

If you’re a carer and would like more information on your rights and entitlements, check out this useful guide by Carers’ UK – it tells you all about your rights in work, the importance of taking a break, and lots more practical information and advice.  (The linked guide is for carers in England, but you can find more resources and guides for Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland here)

Here’s a sample from the guide:

 

There’s lots more useful information like this at the link provided. If you have a more specific question about your caring role or about local services, you can call us on 0800 0388 885 and speak to Sue, our information and advice officer. Sue has a wealth of information to help local carers in Bath and North East Somerset.

Visit our website  for more information about our work or to sign up as a carer with us.