Carer's Week 13-19 June 2011 You are here: Home » News Detail
14th June 2011
Carers Week is 13-19 June 2011
Carers Week (13-19 June 2011) is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the work of the unsung heroes who care for their loved ones round the clock and are estimated to save health and social services around £119bn a year.
In Northamptonshire, it is estimated there are around 60,000 carers looking after or supporting someone who needs their help in their day to day life, perhaps because of their age, a long-term illness, a disability, mental health problems or even substance misuse. This amounts to 1 in 10 people in the county.
Carers can be anyone from sons or daughters to parents or siblings, friends or neighbours, and in some cases children and young people and in many circumstances, people do not even think of themselves as carers.
Sharon Benford, who leads on the Carers Project for NHS Northamptonshire, said: "Caring for someone can be a positive experience but it can also be challenging physically and emotionally. You may feel like a nurse, taxi driver, financial advisor, advocate, pharmacist all in one day - and much more. You may find you have little time for yourself and your own health needs.
"The good news is if you are a carer you are not alone and there is support available for you in Northamptonshire. NHS Northamptonshire works with a range of local partners including Northamptonshire Carers and Northamptonshire County Council to ensure information and support is available for local carers in the county."
Sue Helyar, Care Advisor (Employment and Leisure) for Northamptonshire Carers, said: "Informal unpaid carers that are looking after a relative or friend that is ill, disabled, has mental health issues, or terminal illness, think about themselves last or not at all. Here at Northamptonshire Carers we constantly promote the need for carers to take a very well earned break, even a short one for a few hours, and re-charge their batteries to continue to care for their loved ones.
"With this in mind, we are taking an individual approach with carer’s respite, health, leisure and wellbeing. We have taken out 7 gym memberships, across the county 4 at Nuffield Health in Northampton, 2 at Balance in Kettering, and 1 at Towcester/Brackley leisure centre."
One of the carers who uses the gym membership scheme is Faith Broadribb. Faith, who has looked after her husband Bill, 71, for the past 40 years since he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of just 29, said: "Having a day out to come to the gym and do relaxation classes such as yoga, makes a huge difference to my life. It is so important to be able to have some time for yourself as well when you're a carer."
Pictured: (left to right): Josie Head (carer), Sue Helyar (Northamptonshire Carers), Faith Broadribb, Jackie Shane, Jenny Ingram-Gilzene (all carers), and Sharon Benford (NHS Northamptonshire carers project lead). They are pictured at Nuffield health and fitness centre in Northampton, where Northamptonshire Carers provides shared membership for local carers.
Click here to read the Chronicle and Echo feature on Carers Week.