We are very grateful that so many of you took the time to complete our survey on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The feedback from you and other carers will help us to be able to make sure that we are doing all we can to support carers at this difficult time. It will also enable us to tell others such as local authorities, politicians, health organisations, schools, employers and funders what issues are being faced and what support you think is needed for you and your family.
At Caring Together, we have already been able to adapt our services to address some of the issues you raised, and so we wanted to make sure you knew how we can help. This information is in relation to carers in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. For carers in Norfolk, visit carersmatternorfolk.org or call 0800 083 1148. For carers from other areas, visit www.carers.org to find out the nearest support organisation to you.
How we are addressing the issues you raise:
What you told us: Many of you have reported you have felt more isolated during this pandemic and some of you reported this is having a negative impact on your mental wellbeing.
How we can help: We have been operating our carers hubs via zoom to give those of you who are adult carers the opportunity to speak to other carers. As part of the sessions, we invite speakers and put on activities, but the main focus is to enable carers to catch up with other carers from their area.
We also have a Listening Ear service where we can link you in with one of our trained volunteers who will be able to telephone you and provide you with someone to talk to.
What you told us: Many of you don’t feel able to take a break
How we can help: If you have been unable to take a break from your caring role during COVID–19 we may be able to provide you with a care worker who can come and support your cared for person, enabling you to take a break. We have also had the Carers Emergency Fund to support some of you to purchase things to help them to have a break.
What you told us: Practical tasks like shopping and collecting prescriptions have become more difficult for you due to this pandemic. How we can help: We are able to provide you with a letter to help you to access the priority shopping slots available at supermarkets and pharmacy home delivery services.
What you told us: Young people have not been able to go to school or access their lessons/schoolwork.
How we can help: If your child’s education has been impacted we can link you in with organisations/resources that may be able to help and we also have lots of useful links and resources on our website. We have also supported young carers to access tablets/laptops to enable them to complete schoolwork.
What you told us: COVID-19 has made many of us think about what we would do in an emergency.
How we can help: If you have not thought about this and would like to register an emergency plan, we are able to support you with that. Our What if? Plan helps you to think about family and friends that may be able to help you in an emergency. If you have no one else that can support you we are able to provide a care worker to support your cared for person until other plans are put in place.
Finding out more about what is available to you
If any of this support would be helpful to you, please find more information on our website at caringtogether.org/coronavirus-covid-19 or contact our information, advice and guidance team on 01480 499090 or [email protected]
Find out more about what we are doing during Carers Week at caringtogether.org/carers-week