Unpaid carers from across Torbay enjoyed a host of treats earlier this month for some well-deserved fun and relaxation at a series of events timed to coincide with National Carers Week 2016 (6 – 12 June).
Carers Week celebrates the essential, and often unsung, role of unpaid carers. A host of events, designed for a wide age range, took place across the Bay with an emphasis on carers having some time for themselves. The events ranged from car maintenance lessons and cream teas to pampering sessions or even learning to fly a Boeing 737; all aimed at promoting the wellbeing of carers and recognising the vital role they play in our community.
Organised by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and supported by Torbay Council and local organisations, this year’s Carers Week focussed on building ‘Carer Friendly Communities’ – communities which support Carers to look after their family or friends well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.
Katy Heard, Carers’ and Volunteers’ Lead at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The role our unpaid carers play in providing expert care for some of the most vulnerable people in the community, cannot be valued highly enough. For these people – many of whom are young people, still attending school, or are older people with health needs of their own – caring is not a job which starts at 9am and ends at 5pm; it is a commitment which means they can be ‘on-call’ 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“It was wonderful to see so many carers relaxing and enjoying a day out, it is so important that we recognise our unpaid carers and provide them with opportunities to take time-out from the support they provide.
“A popular event this year was at ‘Come fly with us’ in Chudleigh where carers learnt to fly a Boeing 737 on a virtual PC aviation system – there were lots of laughs and budding pilots! Carers Week really does provide us with the perfect opportunity to celebrate the often unsung contribution unpaid carers make within our local communities. We also hope that Carers Week helps to attract carers who are not yet known to us so that we can help them to access the support that is available.”
A carer who attended the ‘Come Fly with Us’ at the Virtual Jet Centre event, said: “It really was a fantastic experience and so enjoyable! It provided us with good information and a great insight into flying. I really did have some wonderful ‘time out’ and it was an exhilarating experience, thank you!”
Another carer who attended a ‘relax and unwind’ session said: “Carer’s week is an important event for all of us carers. I had Reiki and was overwhelmed with gratitude at receiving love, care and TLC – just what I needed as my caring role is so demanding. Plus, my nails now look beautiful, thank you.”
There was also an indoor bowling event. A carer commented: “The indoor bowling was extremely enjoyable, with very patient tutors. It was a great afternoon and I have thoroughly enjoyed today – meeting new people and learning a new hobby.”
If someone in Torbay relies on you because they are getting older, or have a disability or mental health / drug / alcohol issue, please contact Signposts for Carers on 01803 666620, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visitwww.torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk