Carers Week 2016

Lanarkshire Carers Centre hosted a number of activities and events to support Carers Week, which took place between 6-12 June 2016.

Published: 17 June 2016

The focus of this year’s Carers Week was ‘Building Carer Friendly Communities’- places where carers feel supported to look after their family or friends and are recognised as individuals with needs of their own, which was definitely a prominent theme throughout the week.

On Monday 6th June 2016, Bobby McBride, Carer Support Worker for Cumbernauld Area hosted an information stall at the Cornerstone Church in Cumbernauld along with other local organisations, providing information on the services available through Lanarkshire Carers Centre.

On Tuesday 7th June, a Coffee Morning was held at St. Margaret’s Church in Airdrie to recognise carers in the local community. A number of volunteers, many of whom are carers themselves, helped out at the coffee morning and provided homemade cakes and biscuits. They were available to talk to those in attendance throughout the morning, sharing their experiences with others along with members of Lanarkshire Carers Centre Staff.

David McCord from Lanarkshire Carers Centre said “The coffee morning was very well attended and some of the people I spoke to where unaware of the support on offer for unpaid carers. It’s not always apparent that someone is a carer. Even carers don’t recognise themselves as such and many often sacrifice having a life of their own to care for a loved one. What people don’t realise is the impact that unpaid carers have on their local communities and on society. It is estimated that 3 out of every 5 people in the UK will become carers at some point in their lives. It’s important that we recognise this and support carers so they can continue in their often demanding and stressful caring roles”

A number of our volunteers donated their time and baking for the coffee morning:

Carers attending the ‘Steps of Caring’ Training Programme delivered by Lanarkshire Carers Centre on Friday 10th June in East Kilbride also showed their support for Carers Week. This training programme is designed to provide practical, useful information for those who are new to the caring role, particularly the different types of support services available to them locally.

Avril Whiteside, Steps of Caring Training Coordinator said “We often find that participants have not recognised that they are carers and part of the training helps them to identify the additional responsibilities they have. Carers tell us that the course helps to relieve isolation and informs them of the support and advice available to them if they require it. Carers are often surprised when they participate in the course that some of their own health conditions are directly related to their caring role. An introduction to stress management during this training is often the first time they have thought about taking care of their own mental health and wellbeing.”

Lanarkshire Carers Centre’s main Carers Week event, Step Out Saturday, took place on Saturday 11th June 2016 at the Alona Hotel, Strathclyde Park. This event was open to carers throughout Lanarkshire, their family and friends. It was a fun-filled day enjoyed by all which included cultural dance and music, raffle and tombola prizes, a fancy dress photo booth, pampering, face painting, fire engines, and loads more.

We have created a video of the pictures taken from the Fun Photo Booth during the day:

Isbah Khan, the Black and Minority Ethnic Carer Support Worker from Lanarkshire Carers Centre said: “This event was a great opportunity to celebrate Carers Week and the diversity of carers from different cultures that we support throughout Lanarkshire. The focus of Building Carer Friendly Communities was very apparent from all the activities we had on offer throughout the day, including Polish Dance and Music, the Chinese Fan Dance and T’ai Chi as well as other activities”

One carer who attended the event said “Thank you for a most enjoyable day and for all the hard work that must have gone into the day. It's so good to be in another environment other than caring and it lets you be a real person for a short while.”

To bring Carers Week events to a close, staff from Lanarkshire Carers Centre attended the annual summer concert for Soundroutes Singers, community choirs who operate across Lanarkshire.

Soundroutes Singers have worked in partnership with Lanarkshire Carers Centre helping to raise awareness of carers and the support services available to them, as well as raising money for the organisation. Over £2,000 has been raised to date. Lanarkshire Carers Centre hopes to deliver singing workshops for carers from the donations received by Soundroutes over the coming months.

If you would like more information on the services provided by Lanarkshire Carers Centre, please contact us by telephone on 01698 428090 / 01236 755550.