We have launched a campaign to raise awareness of the vital role of family carers and the help available to them this Christmas.
To celebrate the launch of the campaign, which will take place throughout December, supporters gathered at Serpentine Green on Saturday 24th November to take on a ‘stepper challenge’ courtesy of nearby gym, Vivacity, in order to raise the Christmas Cheer.
Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Chris Ash, opened the challenge recognising that:
“Christmas can be a difficult time for everyone, especially if you are a family carer. It is so important that people who look after others recognise that they might need help and that this help is available to them.”
Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk help family carers such as Sue Hookham, by providing support, advice and guidance, as well as opportunities to take a break from their caring role.
Sue, 74, has cared for her husband David, who has Dementia, for around five years, and highlights that people do not always realise they have taken on a caring role when it comes to looking after a loved one:
“It is how life has evolved over the last few years, it is all now part of life. Though not a designated carer all that time, in retrospect I can see that some months before David was diagnosed with Dementia I started – helping with, then organising medication, checking appointments.”
Along with the day-to-day tasks and running the household, Sue takes David and about as he is not able to do so alone. This includes their regular visit to the Family Carers’ Hub in Ely, run by Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk:
“With absolute no hesitation I can say that the Hub we attend is one of the things that my husband always wants to go to – because everyone can talk to everyone else and there is always something to do. This means that we have no problems is getting ready that day.”
Caring can affect people of all ages. Shannon (pictured with her dad) is a young adult carer who cares for her dad who has “a knee where he has pins and needles holding it together. He also has seven discs out of place in his back, a blood clot in his neck causing his memory problems.” Shannon goes on to say “More people who care need to know there is help out there.”
Charity CEO, Miriam Martin, is keen for everybody to help bring Christmas cheer to more family carers this Christmas:
“With Carers Rights Day looming, we thought it was a great opportunity to encourage people to talk to others about what it means to be a family carer. Eight out of ten carers say that they feel lonely or isolated and this can feel even worse at Christmas.
“The Big Christmas Cheer is all about spreading the word. We’d love people to show their support for carers, be it by asking us to come along to talk to their local W.I. group, or by holding a festive fundraiser in aid of Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk. No matter how big or small, it will all help to let carers know that they are not alone.”