Celebrating Carers Week 2017
Digital team's blog
During Carers Week (12 – 18 June), our carers services across the country were busy holding events and raising awareness around the important work that they do.
Chris Howells, Head of Carer Services, told us about the events taking place designed to welcome those with family or friends with mental health conditions. In Bristol, relatives were invited to indulge in a taster neck or shoulder massage, relax over a cup of tea and cake and find out about the support that is available. Our service in Doncaster also made the most of the sunshine and welcomed carers from the local community to a garden party celebration.
The 2017 theme has been ‘carer friendly communities’ and our service in Tower Hamlets held a discussion group to talk about how the service can be more carer-friendly, before teaming together with Croydon’s carer support service to host a picnic in Kew Gardens.
In Leicestershire, our carers service held afternoon tea at a local garden centre, and in Oxford, the team enjoyed getting out and about talking to the public, running information stalls in the local area.
Ruth Naughton-Doe, Senior Mental Health Recovery Worker at Hull and East Yorkshire Carers Service described their successful Carers Week: “We organised two events during the week. One was at an inpatient unit where we sold cakes made residents to raise over £156 for Rethink Mental Illness, and invited professionals, carers, patients and their friends and family. Speakers included a carer who uses our service and attends our Hull support group. She had excellent feedback from other carers, who said how they could relate to her talk about her experiences. The other guest speaker was a service manager of a new 'Crisis Pad' service, which is being trialled in Hull to provide support to people in crisis between the hours of 8pm-2am, in a purpose build centre.
We also organised an event in Hull attended by over 16 carers and 9 different organisations, including MIND, other local carers services, the Humber Recovery College and the Humber Research Team. There were two workshops led by external organisations - 'Wellbeing through creativity' and 'Relaxation for carers'.
The ‘Wellbeing through creativity’ workshop was a particular success, and we linked in with Hull City of Culture 2017, taking part in 'Challenge Week' – for every week of this year, they launch a different creative challenge! Our challenge was to write a poem about our local area, so we jazzed it up and made the poem into a piece of word art. Many of the poems have now been submitted, and later this year will be part of an art exhibition when 2017 poems will be hung on a gigantic washing line as part of our City of Culture event!
It was fantastic for the City of Culture team to come along and hear about the challenges facing carers. There was plenty of networking going on! We are really proud of this event, and in particular, one carer reported on the day that it was the first time she had done anything for herself for years. Sitting down to write a poem and paint seemed very alien to her – she couldn't believe how long it had been since she had participated in something solely for her, rather than in relation to her caring role.”
To find out more about our carers services, visit: