Making caring visible, valued and supported

To celebrate Carers Week, 6-13 June 2022, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is helping make caring visible, valued and supported by holding a series of free, sociable and informative activities for local unpaid carers.

Carers Week is an annual campaign which aims to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face, and recognise their invaluable contribution. This year’s theme is ‘making caring visible, valued and supported’.

Unpaid carers are simply people who help to look after someone – a family member or friend – who could not manage without them. The Care Trust actively supports and involves carers all year round through the Carer service. This service works closely with people who help to look after someone, including young carers, to improve their experience, the care they get for themselves and for those they help look after.

To raise awareness of the support the Trust offers unpaid carers, how they can share their experience of services and opportunities to work together to improve them, the Care Trust is holding both in-person and online events during the week, and will be linking with other local carer organisations such as Carers Resource and Making Space.

There will be two virtual information, coffee and relaxation sessions held on Microsoft Teams on:

  • Monday 6 June, 2.00pm-3.00pm
  • Wednesday 8 June, 10.00am-11.00am

These sessions are for any unpaid carers and for any staff members at the Trust who are carers too. To register for a session and get support using MS Teams for anyone who hasn’t before, contact carerhub@bdct.nhs.uk.

There will also be information stalls on:

  • Monday 6 June, 9.30am-12.30pm at Westbourne Green Medical Centre, Oak Lane entrance
  • Tuesday 7 June, 9.30am-12.30pm at Horton Park Medical Centre
  • Wednesday 8 June, 1.00pm-3.30pm at Kensington Street Health Centre.

The Carer Service team will be on hand at the stalls to chat to anyone who wants to stop by, with a wide range of information on support available.

Isla Skinner, Trust Head of Patient and Carer Experience and Involvement, said: “We know that unpaid carers are vital in the lives of many people who could not manage without them because of health or disability. Sometimes people don’t think of themselves as carers – they are just doing what they can to help family, friends and neighbours. As a result, sometimes they don’t know about support available for them, or get the chance to share their views and experience as carers with us.

“It’s important that we use Carers Week to let people know we are here for them, want to hear from them, and that we recognise just how much our local carers do, so they know we value and support them.”.

Carly Driscoll, who leads the Trust’s work in this area as Carer Experience and Involvement Manager, said: “We would love people who help to look after someone else to come along to one of our sessions. People can come on their own or with the person they care for and find out more.

“This is all part of our commitment to carers, including our involvement in the ‘Triangle of Care’, a scheme developed by the Carers Trust which the Trust is signed up to. It aims to improve how health professionals and services partner with carers and the people they care for, to improve their experience and the quality of care.  The Trust has now gained two gold stars in the scheme and is working with staff and carers on the third and final phase in the community physical health services we deliver.  None of that would be possible without the involvement and insights of carers themselves, and we are always keen to hear from more people from across our diverse communities in and around Bradford.

“I am pleased that we are strengthening our carer support across the community during Carers Week and beyond. We are excited to be able to begin offering things in person to support carers as well as using social media and other ways to connect online.”

You can find what help is available to carers in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven by visiting www.bdct.nhs.uk/support-for-carers, emailing carerhub@bdct.nhs.uk or Facebook @BDCFTCarerHub and Twitter @BD_CarerSupport.

Isla Skinner, Head of Patient and Carer Experience and Involvement, Carly Driscoll, Carer Experience and Involvement Manager, Fozia Shamim, Carer Support Officer

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