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.
A few weeks ago, the fabulous Jenny Peplow singers held a fundraising concert in Radstock for the Carers’ Centre. I got to attend as a spectator rather than a staff member, which meant I could relax as the volunteers did all the hard work! I also took my mum along, because all mums like a nice choir. We entered the venue to a sea of volunteers and thankfully, a room packed with eager audience members – some were carers that I recognised from my work at the Carers’ Centre which was lovely to see. Mum and I bought some raffle tickets and headed upstairs for a better view.
Soon, the choir came out, introduced by conductor Jenny Peplow. Dressed in black, the all-female choir looked so impressive, and when they started singing we all knew we were in for a fantastic evening. Covering our favourite pop and musical numbers in stunning three and four part harmonies, every voice of the 44-strong choir added something to the mix. My favourite song was a cover of ‘Jar of Hearts’ by Christina Perry, just because of the anger they managed to express while still sounding beautiful. However my mum started crying at “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ before they’d even started singing! Continue reading Our Fundraising Concert→
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.
The sun shone on our Woodlands building this weekend as we held our Spring Craft Fayre. It was lovely enjoying the weather and our centre was bustling with so many activities going on – we had Morris dancers, face painting, kids crafts and of course some beautiful handmade gifts on offer.
To kick start the day we were treated to a dance by Somerset Morris, who not only performed for us but also treated us to a quick workshop on how to do a Morris dance. It was great to see so many people getting involved in this, including Sonia and Janine, our CEO and Senior Development Manager!
Spring is officially here and preparations are well underway for our third Craft Fayre here at the Carers Centre, on Saturday 7th May. Our Craft Fayres are a fantastic way to fundraise for the centre, as well as raise awareness of carers in the local community.
Our Craft Fayres also give carers the chance to make and sell their own products. Deb Frogley is one of the carers looking forward to selling her crafts at our 2016 Craft Fayre. She says; “I’ve been paper-crafting and scrapbooking for 6 or 7 years, after a friend got me into it. With crafting, I’ve been able to let loose, let myself make mistakes and know that not everything has to be ‘perfect’…in fact, bodges have often led to even better ideas!”
As a carer, it’s important for Deb to have a hobby that can help her cope with her caring role. “Being creative is part of my DNA (I’m a writer) and it keeps me balanced and sane!”, she says. “Craft and creativity are a huge release for me – but it’s only this year that I’ve taken the plunge and entered fairs, and BANES Carer’s will be my second!”.
Our previous craft fayres have been huge successes and we can’t wait to see what carers like Deb have to show us on the 7th May. Deb says; “I’m very much looking forward to it, and hope people will respond well to my handmade items”. We know they will Deb, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store!
If you’d like to buy some unique and handmade crafts, please join us on Saturday 7th May at our Bath Centre, from 10am-2pm. There’ll be a wide range of stalls, live entertainment, children’s activities, and homemade refreshments – it’s set to be a great day and we’d love you to join us!
With the days are getting longer and coats getting left at home more often, it’s safe to say that spring is definitely in the air. This is great news for the Carers’ Centre – with our summer programme in the pipeline, we can start planning more and more breaks to take place in our beautiful garden, or outside in the rolling countryside of BANES.
Last spring saw our carers explore Bath, Bristol and beyond, as we held trips to Bristol Zoo, Ston Easton Park, Ammerdown and the Royal Crescent. We also held educational breaks, like our photography course at Bath City Farm and ‘Gardens Are Good For You’, which taught carers essential gardening techniques to help their gardens look fresh and bright for the summer. These breaks were well received and Jane (our senior wellbeing officer) is planning more fun activities as we speak.
Tomorrow our wonderful garden volunteers will meet, and hopefully enjoy their work more now that the rain is stopping – at least it was stopping when we wrote this blog post! On April 16th our carers will go foraging for plants to make delicious and nutritious soups and salads, and on Saturday, 7th May some adventurous carers will join Jane Harvey on a ramble through Chew Valley, in a beautiful walk that combines gorgeous scenery with some light exercise and is great for carers of all ages.
Aside from all of this, there’s no better way to celebrate the darling buds of May than joining us for our Spring Craft Fayre, also taking place on Saturday, 7th May. The Fayre is from 10am-2pm and will be held at our Woodlands centre on the Lower Bristol Road. After two successful Craft Fayres in 2015, we’re hoping Spring 2016 will be even bigger and better. There’ll be live entertainment, children’s activities and some homemade refreshments, so please join us to have fun and raise some money for the Carers’ Centre!
Read more about our Spring fayre on our website: https://www.banescarerscentre.org.uk/help-us-fundraise/may-craft-fayre/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org / 01761 431388 or @carerscentre1 to join our 2017 team.
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!
It seems remarkable that 2016 is already upon us and before jumping straight into new activities we wanted to quickly look back at the highlights of the past year.
2015 was an amazing year for the Carers Centre. We held two successful craft fayres which showcased amazing local talent and raised money as well as awareness for carers in BANES. In terms of fundraising we had some brilliant events, like our amazing skydive which raised over £1000 for the centre! Alongside this we held loads of summer breaks for our young carers. We went to Longleat, a water park, horse riding, and even tobogganing!
In the autumn we held our first charity concert with the Mendip Male Voice Choir and Sing Your Heart Out, as well as our annual ‘Celebrating Carers’ ceremony. These were truly uplifting events that inspired everyone who attended. Excitingly, in November we completed the purchase of our Woodlands office, allowing us to provide a permanent place for carers. Then, to finish off the year, we were one of the chosen charities for the Saltford Santa Dash – what could be better than hundreds of Santas running to raise cash for the CC?!
2016 is set to be just as amazing, with a huge range of activities, breaks and events planned for this year. We already have a whole host of activities underway at both centres, from art classes to information workshops. In the spring we have a focus group project taking place, as well as more Carers Voice meetings. We’re even planning a sponsored walk for Carers Week in June so watch this space! We will also be holding more craft fayres, loads of activities for young carers in the summer and ‘Celebrating Carers’ in the Autumn so we can reward even more carers for their unseen, amazing work.
We want to wish every carer a happy new year and we look forward to seeing you all in 2016!
It was a sea of red and white in Saltford this weekend as the annual Saltford Santa Dash took place. This year saw a huge host of Santas and mini-Santas run a 5 mile fun-run through the beautiful lanes of Saltford, all to raise money for charity. This year, the proceeds were halved between Time2Share and the Carers’ Centre.
The mini-Santas set off at 10am after a wonderful welcome from Alex Lovell, presenter of BBC Points West. It was adorable and even heart-warming to see so many young people running to support charities which help other children going through a difficult time. Running a mile in December isn’t easy for anyone but the children were amazing and there were a lot of proud parents cheering them on all the way!
Next was the adult Santa race which saw a host of Santas run a figure-of-eight course through the picturesque lanes of Saltford. There was such a great atmosphere at the event, with many Santas laughing the whole way. This was helped by the fantastic marshals and helpers, who were on hand with hot drinks, light refreshments and a smile for everyone taking part.
With the money raised from the Dash, the Carers’ Centre can continue providing support, advice and breaks for unpaid carers in the BANES area. We support many carers from Saltford, so the support is even closer to home than many events. We are extremely thankful that organisers of the Dash chose to support our charity and we would like to thank every single Santa that ran – you’re amazing!
News and views from Bath North East Somerset Carers Centre