July update from Carole, our CEO

I was thinking about writing this throughout May with an air of optimism, but as the days progressed into June then July it seems likely that some restrictions will be in place for a while longer.

Carers Week 2021

With this further delay I’ve been reminded of the day-to-day struggles that carers face, so eloquently made by a carer, sharing her experience during Carers Week on ITV Calendar. Her 60mile round trip, several times a week, to look after an elderly relative with complex health conditions really brought home the sacrifice people make to look after those who are close to them, as well as the importance of being able to take a meaningful break as a carer. In a paid job we thankfully have laws to protect staff from working such long hours without breaks and holidays. Yet, our unpaid carers, go about it quietly, unreservedly with many saying, “Anyone would do the same when you care about someone”.

So, Carers Week in June brought us another opportunity to reach out to unpaid carers and attracted the interest of York Central MP Rachael Maskell who visited us to hear about the problems carers face. We were also delighted to announce Harry Gration MBE DL as our first charity patron. Harry has just retired after 42 years with the BBC, in that time covering every major news story in Yorkshire, and is now determined to give something back by working with charities. We look forward to working with him to help promote the work of our charity. Welcome Harry!

What’s coming up?

We are just beginning a brand new area of work to provide mental health support to 5 to 25 year old carers and their families. Funded by the National Lottery, this support responds to a national crisis in mental health and to new research estimating a further increase in mental health problems in children and young people, as we come out of lockdown.

Further new funding this year means we will be providing specific support for families of patients leaving Foss Park Hospital. People often think when you leave hospital you are well, but more often recovery can last a long time and require ongoing support. Our new service will ensure family and carers not only receive direct help, but are linked into other services they will need.

As always we have regular carers hubs and groups coming up, and our team are here at the end of the phone if you need us. You don’t have to tackle problems on your own so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need support, advice or someone to talk to.