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Carers go it alone


This week saw the launch of a Carers Support Group at Ashford Place. For many months Carers of people living with dementia have been meeting weekly to offer each other support, share their stories, learn tips and information from each other and generally feel less alone as unpaid carers for their loved ones. Bolstered by an excellent programme of training late last year delivered by Dementia Carers Count, this group of carers informed our staff that they wanted to continue supporting each other and to support others across the borough in a similar position, and would appreciate some help that they could call upon. With some funding from the Big Lottery, the group recruited Donna to support them to develop and grow as a support group, reach out to others and begin working with service providers and commissioners to both be recognised as  ‘essential workers’ but also make changes in the system that enables Carers to access the services, benefits, and support that they have a right to  but that is often out of their reach because of unnecessary bureaucracy, poor clarity of information and unequal access. We look forward to seeing the group grow into an influential and important partner in the work to get full recognition and respect for unpaid carers. After all, fully supported carers means better support for their loved ones which means less demand on health and welfare services.