Local events to mark National Carers Week

A Dudley couple are encouraging people to attend events in the borough as part of National Carers Week which runs from 10th to 16th June.

Local carers Phil and Maureen Westwood, who live in Brierley Hill and care for an elderly parent, have been urging those in a similar situation to their own to attend one of the events in order to seek help and support.

National Carers Week is organised by seven UK charities to raise awareness of caring and the issues faced by carers. Dudley Council is holding sessions to highlight the help and support available in the borough.

On Monday June 10 there will be a drop in session from 10.30am to 2pm at the Lye Project, 3 High Street, Lye. People can pop in and speak to a member of the Carers Hub team, who will be able to provide information, advice and guidance on issues relating to their caring role.

People affected by dementia and their carers can attend a similar session at the Brett Young Dementia Gateway on Tuesday June 11 between 10.30am and 3pm. Based on Old Hawne Lane, Halesowen, the centre runs the open session on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

On Wednesday June 12 there will be a fun interactive activity session for carers and the person they care for, which will focus on easy strength and balance exercises. The ‘carers keep active session’, which is run by the council’s health improvement team and falls coordinator, takes place from 12.30pm to 3pm. To book a place people can call Dudley Carers Hub 01384 818723 or email carers.network@dudley.gov.uk

People can also speak to a member of the Carers Hub team at two ‘getting carers connected’ drop in events. They will be held at Stourbridge Cop Shop in the Ryemarket on Thursday June 13 and Sainsburys supermarket, Withymoor Village, Brierley Hill on Friday June 14. Both events run from 10am to 3pm and will provide information, advice and guidance on issues for carers. Carer, Phil Westwood, said:

"Myself and my wife have cared for my elderly parents for many years, my father sadly passed away late last year and we are still caring for my mum who is in her 80s and has dementia. There are times when caring for a loved one can be all consuming and very overwhelming, we have certainly faced periods of isolation and financial strain as a result of our caring responsibilities.

"The Dudley Carers Hub has been a centre when we could meet other carers, talk to people who understand and access help and support. The staff have been incredible, truly a godsend to us, and I would encourage any carers who are struggling with the role to get in contact with them."

National Carers Week is this year highlighting how one in three unpaid carers looking after a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill can face loneliness or isolation because they are uncomfortable talking to friends or family about their caring role. Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, added:

"The work of carers who look after friends, family members and loved ones is all too often over looked and sadly we know that a lot of carers are at risk of becoming isolated.

"The Dudley Carers Hub does an incredible job of helping carers to access help and support and keeping people connected and I am delighted that they are organising this event to once again raise awareness and bang the drum for those who devote so much of their lives to the wellbeing of others."

Since its opening hundreds of borough carers have accessed help and support through the centre, which will also be holding an event on June 27 to mark the 12 month anniversary, with the hub having opened late June 2018. For more information on Dudley Carers Hub people can call 01384 818723.


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