North Yorkshire will be celebrating Carers Week next week (8-14 June) and throwing a spotlight on the work and love and commitment of the 60,000 people across North Yorkshire – one in ten of us - who are carers for family members or friends.
The work of those who provide care as part of their everyday lives has been more critical than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic with many providing more care than they have ever done before.
The majority of carers are providing more help with emotional support and are checking in on the person they care for more often and keeping them motivated as well as spending more money on food and household bills.
Richard Webb, North Yorkshire’s Director of Health and Adult Services, has himself been a carer, both as a child and in adulthood. He said: “60,000 people across North Yorkshire are carers for family members or friends. Let’s use Carers Week this year to thank carers, to acknowledge what carers do and that they have an identity and are part of the community in their own right, in addition to their caring responsibilities”.
As part of the week-long celebrations North Yorkshire’s carers resource organisations, which the County Council supports with over £500,000 in funding every year, are running a number of great but different and virtual events across the county due to lockdown restrictions.
These events including a selfie and words campaign where carers and the people who support them have sent in selfie photos with words which describe the strengths all carers have for posting on social media during Carers Week.
Adult and young carers have also been encouraged to send in stories and poems which express their experiences as carers. In Harrogate and Craven, where the carer’s resource centre had planned a 25k walk to celebrate its 25th anniversary, staff and carers are being encouraged to join in and do this virtually as part of their daily exercise.
As well as these existing services provided by carers resource charities, the County Council has partnered with 23 community support organisations across the county to coordinate help on the ground with shopping, collecting prescriptions, caring for pets and having someone to talk to. This help continues through our one point of contact – our customer service centre on 01609 780780 - open seven days a week from 8am to 5.30pm for people, who are without other help, to call. Carers can also ring this number if they have any questions about the wellbeing of the person they are looking after and any other care they are receiving.
Carers Week activities across the North Yorkshire
Carers’ Resource (covering the Harrogate and Craven districts)
Carers’ Resource has exciting and creative events and activities planned for all ages across all of the areas it works in. Sessions include crafting groups, bingo and even virtual escape rooms. The charity will also be pre-recording some short sessions around positive thinking, mindfulness and managing stress that carers can access whenever suits them to help them deal with some of the difficult situations they may be facing.
Carers’ Resource is also encouraging carers, people who work with carers and the general public to raise a glass of their favourite drink at noon on Monday 8 June in honour of carers, to mark the start of Carers Week. They're asking everyone to send pictures of their toast to firstname.lastname@example.org and say what caring means to you. You can also post them on the Facebook and Twitter tagging them in with @carersresource and using the hashtags #CarersWeek and #RaiseAGlass.
Carers’ Resource had planned a 25k walk to celebrate its 25th anniversary but, due to the lockdown, it is now running this virtually and asking staff and carers to join in as part of their daily exercise. Full details of all the charity’s plans for Carers Week are on the Carers’ Resource website.
Scarborough & Ryedale Carers Resource
Scarborough & Ryedale Carers Resource are running some specific online activities and events but their primary focus has been to showcase the amazing strengths carers have across the coast, by producing a large photo collection campaign.
SRCR have asked carers of all ages to forward a selfie photo holding a sign including a powerful words/phrases about themselves, helping to capture the character of carers and highlight the amazing strengths they have.
SRCR also called on all professionals who support carers within their roles, to forward a photo of themselves with a short positive statement of how supporting carers makes them feel.
Hambleton Richmondshire Carers Resource
Adult carers: HRCC will mainly be using Facebook during carers week, and will be having themed days such as adult carers, dementia support and young carers.
Support workers have also been gathering statements and stories from carers over the last month or so. They will be posting these on HRCC’s Facebook page during Carers Week, promoting the Carers Trust message of Making Carers Visible.
All staff from HRCC have been asked to create something, as part their Carers Week launch on Facebook – this will be shown on Monday, 8th June.
Young carers: HRCC has also held a competition for all their young carers inviting them to send in a picture, poem or story explaining life for them as young carers. The winner will be announced on Facebook during Carers Week and entries will be posted throughout the week also.
Selby Carers Count
Selby Carers Count hadasked carers to supply quotes and comments. about life as a carer and these will be posted, along with a video about their work - on their Facebook page during Carers Week. Selby Carers Count are also compiling an e-pack of information that will be sent out to as many professionals as possible.
The County Council has also provided an advice pack for carers with links to partner organisations and advice on use of personal protective equipment.