Building a caring community
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.