Tag Archives: love

Giving Something Back: Trudy’s Story

Trudy with husband Mark
Trudy with husband Mark

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!

Our Support Group Project

Abstract green waveFeedback from our carers is essential for all the work we do here at the Carers Centre. If we didn’t speak to carers about what they like and don’t like about our services, we wouldn’t know the best way of shaping and creating services in the future. From phone calls with carers to giving out feedback forms during breaks, we listen to carers in everything we do.

A key way we get feedback about our services from carers is through our Annual Survey, which asks carers about their engagement with our service and if there’s anything they would change. Last year some carers wanted more regular contact with us, to gain a personal service. To address this, we’re reinstating our befriending service, which comes into force this month.

This shows our determination to include carer views in everything we do, and use their feedback to create better services for the future.

Our new project is no different.

At the Carers Centre, we currently have five support groups on offer, but we’re looking to expand this to help even more carers. We’re holding interviews in March to discuss what support groups carers want and how they should be organised. In the meantime, we’ve made an online questionnaire asking our carers for their views on support groups which can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GLP9WH7. If you’re a carer with something to say then I need your help!

If you’re a carer and would like more information or want to get involved in the project, please contact BANES Carers Centre on 01761 431388 or email holly.turrell@banescarerscentre.org.uk. 

My Young Carer Story

MeeeeeeeeeLast Thursday was National Young Carers Awareness Day, which aimed to raise awareness of our amazing YCs and the unseen work they do every day. Last week we highlighted Joe Lomax, one of our fab YCs. This week, our blog takes a more personal tone, because I want to tell you my story.

My brother is funny and has the biggest smile of anyone I know. He is also severely autistic and has very limited communication skills. When I was younger, this was really hard for me, as I didn’t understand his disability or why he acts the way he does. Additionally, no one at school was in my situation, so I often felt lonely, and like I couldn’t relate to anyone.

Luckily, an amazing Young Carers service really helped me out. I was referred there by a social worker who felt I needed to be with children in a similar situation to myself. She was absolutely right, and that group helped me get out of the house and meet other children in tough circumstances.

I’ve worked at the CC for about seven months and I love my role. I run the YC Twitter account, organise this blog, and I’m currently researching support groups. However, my favourite thing about working here is helping kids with difficult home lives, just like I had at that age. Even simple things like taking them to the cinema or running an art club gives them the chance to relax and have fun. It’s always so great to put a smile on their faces and help a charity like the one that kept me going when I was their age.

Family Time: Bath on Ice

Our Young Carers officer Steve enjoying the ice - he was surprisingly good!
Our Young Carers officer Steve enjoying the ice – he was surprisingly good!

Our carers were dancing on blades of glory as we took eight families to ‘Bath on Ice’; the temporary ice rink in Victoria Park this weekend.

Every carer had a different response to their first foray onto the ice. Some kids couldn’t wait to get going while others looked terrified – luckily many of them had penguins to help their balance. Meanwhile the anxious adults seemed to doubt their decision to skate, with one father looking at me as if to say “What have I let myself in for – and why have I agreed to an hour of it?!”

As we expected, there were lots of tumbles, with every carer falling over at least once. Luckily the stewards at Bath on Ice were quick to help and before long they were on their feet again. Many got up enough confidence to brave it alone and a few even managed some fancy footwork, which was great fun to watch!

When finished, our carers were delighted to go from ice back to solid ground. The children asked to go again while parents nursed newly-made bruises! However, everyone seemed to have a great time, and there were smiles all round. In our feedback forms, all families said they’d had a great time and the only downside of the trip was falling over so much!

Trips like these take a lot of planning but it’s all worth it to see families having fun and I can’t wait for our next Family Time adventure!

“Show someone they’re loved this Christmas”: The new John Lewis ad

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The heart-warming message of the John Lewis Christmas advert

Some people may start the festive season as soon as September sets in, but many only get into the Christmas spirit once the new John Lewis ad has been released.

A week ago, the big day arrived.

The advert centres on a little girl who spots the man on the moon through her telescope. She sees that he is alone and wants to do something for him for Christmas, so she sends him a present: a telescope so that he can see earth, and most importantly the girl who has been thinking of him this whole time.

John Lewis have said that the ad aims to highlight the hardship of one million elderly people who go for more than a month without talking to a friend, relative or neighbour.

These elderly people do face extreme loneliness, and for carers the daily struggle can be even worse. Although they may communicate with the person they look after, 83% of carers say they feel isolated due to their caring role. The ad reminds people to “show someone they’re loved” at Christmas, encouraging us to remember those who won’t be surrounded by friends and family.

Though this man on the moon is not a carer, he faces incredible isolation, something the 6.5 million carers in the UK face every day. So we ask you; the next time you see the John Lewis ad, think of the carers who may feel like they are alone on the moon.