Do you care for a wife or husband, a parent, sibling or friend? If you do, you are a Carer.
10,000 people in Gloucestershire care for a partner, family member or friend but most do not think of themselves as carers and therefore do not ask for the help and support that is available to them.
Caring for someone can be physically and mentally demanding.
It is time consuming and leaves little time for carers to look after their own health and wellbeing.
Carer Support Service
Cotswold Friends’ Carer Support Service provides regular breaks for carers which are vital to allow them to stay well.
Our volunteers support carers by befriending the cared-for. This gives the carer some much needed respite but also proves important social interaction and friendship for the person they care for.
Volunteers also support carers by chatting and listening. A difficult week can seem so much better when you have shared the experience with someone.
During their break, carers visit family and friends, go shopping, attend medical appointments, exercise or catch up on some much needed sleep.
What our Carer Support clients think: “It gives you time to be yourself and not have to be on call all of the time. It has also given us a new friend.”
What our Carer Support volunteers think: “The clients I have befriended have all been amazing people with valued experience. I have learnt from these friendships which have also provided me with fun and enjoyment.”
We can also support you to find an activity to enjoy during your respite time, so the person you care for can join group activities while you take a break or you can both to join an activity together.
We offer Lunch Clubs, Singing and Craft Groups, Walking Football and Netball, and Men in Sheds.
We also offer Community Day Clubs for the cared-for, giving carers a further respite opportunity. Carer Support clients will also be invited to our regular social events.
Carer Peer Support Service
Talking to someone in a similar situation can be extremely helpful. Feeling that you are not alone and that someone else understands the daily challenges you face can be a great comfort.
We bring carers together by offering Peer Support, in informal groups or by telephone. We put carers in touch with other like-minded carers in a similar situation to them, providing an alternative support network for people living with the daily struggles of being a full time carer.
Carers can meet new friends and support one other, telephoning or meeting each other weekly or as often as you choose.
A member of our Carer Peer Support Service told us: “I freely admit, I was a bit sceptical at first about how well a Peer Support service would work, but I am delighted to say that it has proved to be really useful.
“When you care for someone with complex needs, it’s often exhausting. It can feel as though there isn’t anyone you can confide in without being judged.
“Whilst family members are supportive, they have their own lives and problems to deal with and it isn’t always appropriate to say openly how you feel.
“Someone in a similar situation to call (or possibly meet up with) who understands what you’re going though, can be a lifeline when the going gets tough! You can offer each other a listening ear, advice and moral support - something that we all need, but sometimes find it hard to ask for.”
Cotswold Friends run a number of training courses which can help carers develop additional knowledge and skills which may be useful in their caring role.
These include Safe Moving and Handling, Stress Awareness, First Aid and Defibrillator Training and Dementia Awareness. All Carer Support clients and volunteers will be invited to attend.
Community Transport Service
Our Community Transport Service helps people get out and about to medical, practical and social appointments.
Our friendly volunteer drivers can help you get where you need to go, including our community activities, clubs and events.
We have a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle which allows a wheelchair user to travel without the need to transfer from seat to car and back again.
If you are a full-time carer and would like someone to visit and befriend the person you care for, so you can take some regular time off, please get in touch with us.
Call us on 01608 697009 to arrange an appointment.
Our Carer Respite service is accredited to the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. For further information please click here.