Who Cares for the Carer? Pledges made to Build a Caring Community in Peterborough

26th September 16

Family carers of all ages, the person they care for and professionals who support them pledged to support Building a Caring Community at a major event held by Carers Trust Peterborough on Thursday, 22 September.

The question many people asked throughout the day was, “Who cares for the carer?”

A ‘wall’ of pledges was filled with messages offering support as carers described their personal experiences, and the reason why it means so much for them to care for their relative or friend.

There are 78,000 carers in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and we know just over 10%. On average it takes two years for someone to identify themselves as a carer and too often they are forgotten, their needs unmet.

‘Building a Caring Community- Brick by Brick’, was held at Thorpe Hall, Peterborough and builds on the work we have been doing on the Caring Community project with partnering organisations where we have trained 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.

Adrian Chapman, Service Director Adult Services and Communities, Peterborough City Council, announced new plans to support carers in the city which was welcomed by Dr Helen Brown, CEO of Carers Trust Peterborough.

She said: “We welcome the recognition from Peterborough City Council to do more to support carers, and build on our partnership. More and more families are being drawn into substantial caring for relatives and friends. Whilst this can be a wonderful and loving commitment, it can often be a frustrating and difficult experience for everyone too.

“Carers Trust Peterborough is here to support family carers and what we heard from carers in the audience was that they do want help and training to be able to care better for others and themselves.”

Other speakers included  James Whitmore from HM Passport Office Peterborough who described how carers are supported in the workplace, highlighting his own experiences as a carer for his mother; Teresa Jude, Carers Advisor for Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals; Penny Langley from Peterborough Regional College; Lynda Johnson from Hampton College; and Holly Stewart from the British Red Cross. Garry Swan from MiraLife explained how carers can be provided with extra ‘tools’ and knowledge to help their caring role at home, and avoiding the risk of infection for the person they care for, avoiding hospital admission.

Dr Brown added: “It has been an outstanding day. Within our own organisation about a third of us are carers and we bring something extra to our work which demonstrates our commitment to want to make changes for the future, our commitment to help other carers today and every day.

“My pledge for the day is to thank you all for coming, please go and tell your friends about us because there is no reason for carers to be hidden, no reason for them to feel guilty or any sort of fear. We know it is a difficult role and want to celebrate what they do.”

The Care Act 2014 places the needs of the carer on the same level of importance as the person they care for to protect their own health and wellbeing which can be suffer as a result of their caring role. Evidence shows that young carers can be bullied and their school work suffer, and there are now more older carers who need support as our ageing population increases.

If you are a carer in Peterborough or Cambridgeshire and would like to know  how we can support you, please call 01480 499090 or email care@carerstrustcambridgeshire .org. Information is also available on our website.

View the presentations from the event