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.
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.
Client - _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.” Volunteer - _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, for the person you care for to join group activities while you take a break or for you both to join an activity together. We offer Lunch Clubs, Singing and Craft Groups, Walking Sports 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.
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. Carers can meet new friends and support each other.
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.
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.
All of Cotswold Friends’ services have been risk-assessed to ensure they are Covid secure.
Our Carer Respite service is accredited to the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. For further information please click here.