Group provides ‘vital’ support for carers

PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 October 2017

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A group has been providing ‘friendship and support’ for unpaid carers in North Somerset for nearly 20 years.

Support available for unpaid carers. Support available for unpaid carers.

Backwell and Nailsea Support Group for Carers meets once a month to enable carers to socialise and enjoy a break.

Volunteers are also on hand to offer support and advise people on where to go for extra help.

The group was set up by Crossroads Care, but has since been taken over by the Carers Support Alliance.

Beverley Cook, who founded the group, said: “We offer friendship and support in an informal setting, and for any specific needs or information required by members we can signpost them to Carers Support Alliance staff.

“Being a carer can be isolating and frustrating. It’s also life-changing for both parties. There is a lot of help out there, but it can be difficult to find, so we can signpost people to the right place.

“The group is extremely valuable. It provides a bit of respite for carers. They can come and just be with people who are also carers or ex-carers.

“People often just want someone to talk to. Some people are caring for people who have dementia or drink and drug problems – it’s not just for elderly people. There are younger people caring for family members, too.”

The group meets once a month on Wednesdays from 2-3.30pm in the WI Hall, in Station Road, Backwell, and members enjoy talks, hot drinks and homemade cakes.

In June, the group runs a free annual cream tea event to celebrate National Carers Week, in September the carers enjoy a trip and in December volunteers put on a Christmas buffet lunch.

Beverley said: “Approximately 10-15 members regularly attend each group and new carers are always made welcome.

“There are three volunteers – myself, Carol Hunt and Diane Johnson. We are available during the afternoon to chat and discuss any matters that arise in relation to the members.”

Carers Support Alliance provides a range of services including access to financial help and support to ensure people receive the support they are entitled to.

The support group’s next meeting is on November 1, when visitors will be making Christmas decorations. To find out more about the group call Beverley after 6pm on 01275 463215 or email rayandbevcook@gmail.com

Click here to find out more about caring jobs in North Somerset.

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