Tag Archives: award

Shining a Light on our Amazing Carers

A relieved Katy after her 10,000ft skydive!
A relieved Katy after her 10,000ft skydive!

At The Carers’ Centre, we aim to shine a light and give a voice to carers who often go unnoticed in society. Carers perform an inspirational role and sacrifice so much when they look after someone, and we are constantly amazed by their resilience and bravery. This blog post aims to highlight just a few of the wonderful things our carers have achieved.

In July 2015, Katy did a Skydive for us, helping to raise over £1000 for the centre. These funds helped to buy our Woodlands centre, providing a permanent home for carers in BANES. The following month, one of our carers Tracey was featured on ITV’s Lorraine, speaking with her husband Paul about his early-onset Alzheimer’s. In October it was a delight to name Tracey (along with Becky and Jennie) as an ‘Unsung Hero’ for her bravery and determination.

Featuring in our latest edition of CareTime, Donna Smith cares for her four grandchildren and lost 30lbs in 30 weeks through our Community Activator programme. She now feels happier and healthier thanks to Jane and Kath, and leads a more active life.

Many of our carers feel empowered enough to start businesses, managing work around their caring role and turning a hobby into profit. Some carers even bring their creations to our biannual Craft Fayres, helping to raise money for the Centre as well as for themselves.

Other carers use their confidence and initiative to set up groups, both at our Centres and within their local communities. For instance Jayne saw a need for a support group at her child’s school, and now runs a regular group for up to fifty parents. Meanwhile, at our Bath centre, Bev runs a regular support group for carers of people with challenging mental health conditions.

These wonderful people prove how determined carers can be, and that despite having complex home lives, they are willing to give back to the community. We’re so grateful for all their hard work and determination and can’t wait to see them all soon!

National Young Carers Awareness Day – 28th Jan

Joe in our Carers Centre garden
Joe in our Carers Centre garden

Tomorrow is National Young Carers Awareness Day, a national event aiming to inform the UK of who young carers are and the hidden struggles they face every day. Therefore today, we want to highlight one of our brilliant young carers, who we named our Young Carer of the Year 2015.

Seventeen-year-old Joe Lomax is the main carer for his mum, who suffers with chronic back pain. Joe manages to provide this care while attending college and looking for part time work. This isn’t all: he is becoming increasingly involved in our Young Carers service, acting as a fantastic role model for other young people. Joe’s friendliness, warmth and compassion means he always welcomes new Young Carers with a smile.

During the Young Carers ‘Big Day Out’ trip in August, Joe provided hands on help for the YC team, assisting the youngest boys to build rafts and row boats, while also organising the children effectively. At our bike workshop later that summer, Joe spoke to various trustees about the work he was doing to the bikes, providing an informative and funny description of the day’s events. They were really impressed, which helped their decision to fund more Young Carers activities in the New Year.

Joe is one of our most popular Young Carers and a true example of how amazing these young people are. It was an honour to award him our Young Carer of the Year 2015 and we can’t wait to see him again this year!

Young Carers Awareness Day is on Thursday 28th January – please get involved or donate to support Young Carers like Joe. You can find more information from The Carers Trust here: https://www.carers.org/young-carers-awareness-day

All dressed up and somewhere to go

Today’s post was written by one of our carers, Fiona Carr, who cares for her husband John.

Fiona and John at our latest Annual Awards ceremony
Fiona and John at our latest Annual Awards ceremony

‘Would you and John like to represent the Carers’ Centre at an Award Ceremony in London next week as a guest of the BANES Care Commissioning Group?’ Janine asked me.  I immediately replied that of course I would, as I am always happy to promote the work of the Carers’ Centre.  It was only when Janine emailed me details of the event that I realised that it was a Black Tie event to be held at The Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane.  The event I learnt was going to be hosted by the Health Service Journal.  I frantically tried on my evening gown and John his dinner jacket to check that they still fitted.  Well, it has been quite a while since we had last wore them.

Then the doubts started.  My husband John is disabled following a massive stroke.  How are we going to cope at such an event with over 800 people attending?  How are we going to get around London?  Will people understand John who now has difficulty speaking?  But as the Japanese proverb says, fear is only as deep as the mind allows, so off to London we went.

Not only did we manage, we had the time of our lives.  Getting around London was easily solved by using taxis.  When we arrived at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Clive the Head of Security took us under his wings.  Throughout the night he went out of his way to make sure we were OK.  When we joined the ladies from the BANES Care Commissioning Group we were greeted like long lost friends.

Unfortunately we did not win an award but it was wonderful to hear about all the work that has been going on throughout the country to support Carers. The Health Service Journal had set up a Twitter page for the event, so I enjoyed using my recently acquired Twitter skills (learnt by attending a course at the Carers’ Centre) to tweet my appreciation to them.

Fiona