Local charity, Carers Support Centre, has been working hard to provide a lifeline for carers throughout the pandemic. Thanks to funding from Carers Trust, the charity has been getting essential items to family carers who desperately need them. Sam is a Bristol carer who looks after his mum. He has been unable to work due to COVID-19 and struggling with his increased caring role. Then his oven suddenly broke and he could barely feed his family. With Carers Support Centre’s help he was able to buy a new oven.
Sam said: “It’s so much easier now to prepare and cook meals for mum, myself and my son now I have a working oven. I can batch cook meals for the week which frees up my time to look after mum and do things like get her prescriptions. She has been in and out of hospital so it’s been a really difficult time.”
South Glos young carer, Casie, is 13 and cares for her twin sister who has ADHD. Casie was struggling to do schoolwork on her mum’s phone. This was Casie’s only way to do her schoolwork, contact people and play games. She also missed out on Carers Support Centre’s young carers online activities. This left her feeling very isolated. With help from Carers Support Centre she now has a new laptop. Casie’s mum said: “This laptop has made a huge difference to Casie, she is now herself again. She’s been so isolated. It’s given her a chance to catch up on schoolwork and talk to her friends and attend online activity sessions run by the charity. We appreciate this very much.”
Bristol young carer K’vion is just nine and helps to care for three of his family members. K’vion gets very little time to himself. During lockdown he was falling behind on his schoolwork because his family did not have a laptop for him to use at home. He also really wanted to join in with his class on ‘Times Table Rock Stars’ online but could not. K’vion was also able to get a new laptop through Carers Support Centre. K’vion said: “I am loving my new laptop. Thank you so much.”
Tim Poole, Chief Executive of Carers Support Centre, said: “Carers are truly the hidden heroes of COVID-19, looking after loved ones behind closed doors. Many carers are looking after extremely vulnerable people at home and they themselves may be vulnerable due to their own physical and mental health risks. We are pleased we’ve been able to help carers with some essential items.”
The charity provides a range of services to carers of any age living in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas. These include support, information and advice, carers’ groups, training, breaks for carers, and the Carers Emergency Card. If you know someone who looks after a family member, friend or neighbour please get in touch with Carers Support Centre. You can call CarersLine or visit their website. Telephone CarersLine: 0117 965 2200. Monday to Friday 10am – 1pm and Monday to Thursday 2pm – 4pm. Website: www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk