The sun shone on our Bath Centre last Sunday as 55 fantastic walkers completed our 20th Birthday Sponsored Walk through the Two Tunnels. It was amazing to see such a range of people walking, including some singers from the Jenny Peplow choir (who performed a fundraising concert for us just a few weeks ago!) and 9 year old Jack, who was eager to get going right away. After a welcome from Claire and Janine, the walkers set off at 11am, with smiles all round and even a few dogs!
Thanks to the fabulous weather, many of our walkers completed the full 9 mile route, only stopping midway for a pub lunch or a picnic –although Steve was on hand with the minibus for any carers that just wanted to complete the 4.5mile walk. Back at the centre, our walkers were rewarded for their time and effort with cream teas and mocktails, provided by our Chair of Trustees Jill Tremellen.
To mark the start of National Carers Week, we at BANES Carers Centre are holding our first ever sponsored walk on Sunday, 5th June. The walk starts at 11am and will take our carers through the mysteries of the Two Tunnels, all the way to the Hope and Anchor in Midford, where our walkers can reward themselves with a pub lunch.
We have 4.5 or 9 mile options so the walkers can pick a route that’s best for them. Walkers can register as individuals or a whole family – our only ask is that they try and raise £50 in sponsorship money, though is just a goal, not a requirement! “Obviously we’d love to raise as much as possible but we also want people to get involved with their community,” says Janine, our Senior Development Manager.
Trudy cares for her husband Mark, who has a hereditary eye condition and is registered blind. For many years Trudy “just got on” with caring for Mark, but eventually struggled with her own emotional and physical wellbeing. Trudy says “I felt like I didn’t matter because Mark was the one who was suffering” – but many carers find that when their wellbeing suffers, their ability to care also suffers. Thankfully her GP referred her to our centre, where Trudy received support from our Community Activator service.
Trudy worked with our Community Activators for three months and saw a decrease in her weight and blood pressure. She says “the main thing was realising that I was not alone – the Carers’ Centre really helped me to know that other people were going through something similar”. This one-to-one support even helped Trudy’s confidence, and eventually she felt able to attend breaks run by the Carers’ Centre. Trudy says; “Mark has had a great deal of support and training from Blind Veterans UK. Now I am able to leave him at home and meet my friends again or go shopping without having to worry so much.”
Now that her confidence and wellbeing has improved, Trudy doesn’t just attend breaks with the Carers’ Centre: she often helps out at events and talks. She says; “I want to give something back to the Carers’ Centre as they have done so much for me”. Trudy volunteered to help at our last Craft Fayre in November and most recently lent a hand at our fundraising concert. She also regularly delivers talks to the social work students at Bath University so they can understand the realities of being a carer and volunteers at the RUH Carer Hub, providing support and advice for fellow carers.
Trudy’s devotion to give something back is always so inspiring and we’re so grateful for all of her hard work!
Last Sunday, the BathHalf celebrated its 35th year, with an astounding 13,000 people running to raise money for good causes or beat their personal best. The runners had perfect weather for Bath’s biggest annual event; the 13.1 mile course around the beautiful streets of this gorgeous city.
Last year the Half raised over £2.1million for charity, and this year we were honoured to be one of the organisations people could raise money for. This year, nine locations around the track were chosen to be ‘Battle of the Bands’ bases, and we were lucky enough to be chosen to host the ‘Edsel Furys’, a 60s garage and surf-style rock ‘n’ roll band whose infectious sound had runners smiling as they went past.
Our Deputy CEO and former BathHalf runner David said that when he ran, the Lower Bristol Road was a quiet and almost dispiriting part of the track. Thankfully we were able to change that this year, and with the ‘Edsel Furys’ in tow, we made sure the Carers’ Centre was a hub of noise and positivity for every runner involved! With signs, sweets and Carers’ Centre t-shirts, we made as much noise as we could for all the runners as they went past. We’re so grateful to every runner who took part – you are all so incredible and we thank you so much for your amazing dedication!
We want to say a special thank you to Taryn, Emma, Phil, Chris, Dan, Rich, Pete, and Norman, who ran to raise money for our centre. You’re all brilliant and we can’t wait to find out how much money you raised for carers in BANES!
The date for 2017’s BathHalf has already been set as the 12th of March – if you’ve been inspired by this year’s runners and want to take part next year, why not run and raise money for the Carers’ Centre? We’d love to see you there! Contact us on email@example.com / 01761 431388 or @carerscentre1 to join our 2017 team.
News and views from Bath North East Somerset Carers Centre