Build­ing a car­ing com­mu­nity

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your News -

Car­ers Trust Cam­bridgeshire and Pe­ter­bor­ough hosted a ma­jor event for fam­ily car­ers on Thursday, en­ti­tled ‘Build­ing a Car­ing Com­mu­nity- Brick by Brick’, at Thorpe Hall, Pe­ter­bor­ough. It was de­signed to build on the work the Trust has been do­ing on the Car­ing Com­mu­nity project with part­ner­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion­strain­ing over 200 Carer Friends and Car­ers Cham­pi­ons to: Raise aware­ness about car­ers; Help iden­tify hid­den car­ers; Put car­ers in touch with the breadth of sup­port avail­able in the lo­cal com­mu­nity. Keynote speaker was Adrian Chap­man, Ser­vice Di­rec­tor Adult Ser­vices and Com­mu­ni­ties, Pe­ter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, on, ‘Car­ers Mat­ter: Pe­ter­bor­ough’s com­mit­ment to trans­form the sup­port, well­be­ing and qual­ity of life of our carer com­mu­nity.’ Dr He­len Brown, CEO of Car­ers Trust Cam­bridgeshire and Pe­ter­bor­ough, said: “We be­lieve that by build­ing Car­ing Com­mu­ni­ties, we will cre­ate places where car­ers are recog­nised and sup­ported. We know that Rome was not built in a day, but we can lay the foun­da­tions by ask­ing peo­ple to come and make a pledge on our Carer Pledge Wall. The Mayor of Pe­ter­bor­ough, Cllr David San­ders, has al­ready started us off with a pledge of his own, and we hope many more peo­ple will do so as well. “For any­one un­able to make the event, we have a pledge “wall” on our web­site and we have also set up a hash­tag for peo­ple to make pledges via twit­ter #my­car­erpledge. We want as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to make a pledge and spread the word about car­ers and how they can be sup­ported. Let’s get this trend­ing.” times and helped me with all my form fill­ing for the Blue Badge, at­ten­dance al­lowance andI hadacarer’s as­sess­ment too. I wouldn’t have man­aged to do this my­self, it was re­ally help­ful to have some­one do this for me and learn about the ben­e­fits I was en­ti­tled to.”

John helps out the best he can at home, but gets short of breath from his COPD, and is full of praise for San­dra, who he says “does it all”.

For San­dra, be­ing able to keep a close watch on Roy, means she does not have to worry about him all the time. He used to have falls at his home, al­ways fall­ing back­wards, and once cut his head open and frac­tured a rib. He once phoned San­dra at 1.30am to say he had fallen on the kitchen floor and crawled back to bed. San­dra ar­rived at his house in Spald­ing at 5am fol­low­ing the emer­gency call to check he was al­right, wor­ried that he might be in­jured.

She has no re­grets about takingonthe­ex­tracar­ing­role, even though there are times when she and John can­not stay out on spe­cial so­cial oc­ca­sions very long, wor­ry­ing howRoyis­cop­ing if left alone, know­ing that his voice is hard tounder­stand­byother­son­the tele­phone.

San­dra added: “Although it is hard work and tir­ing, I knowthatwhatI­dois­re­wardingand­makingad­if­fer­enceto the lives of oth­ers. I think Roy is look­ing a lit­tle bet­ter now and­haspu­ton­weightsincehe movedin. It’s al­son­ice­to­know that if you do have a prob­lem you only have to pick up the phone and Car­ers Trust Pe­ter­bor­ough will help you, or come out to see you. It’s the same story, a prob­lem shared is a prob­lem halved.”

What ad­vice does San­dra have for other car­ers? “Just look on the pos­i­tive side. Once you start get­ting down about­things, thenit gets hard to pick your­self up again. You have to tell your­self that’s whatlife has dealt you and­get on with it.”

Chris­tine Ni­cholls, Care Man­ager for Car­ers Trust Pe­ter­bor­ough, said: “San­dra is so com­pas­sion­ate about other peo­ple, she puts her own health needs sec­ond to the needs of her brother and hus­band. They­would­be­com­pletely lost with­out her sup­port, and when her hubby praises her she says’ I keep tak­ing the pills, they keep me go­ing.’”

If you are a hid­den fam­ily carer, con­tact 01480 499090 to learn how Car­ers Trust Pe­ter­bor­ough can­hel­pand­sup­port you.

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