It is national Carers Week soon – between 11-17 June. Caring will touch each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves. A local service is supporting those, often unsung, heroes who are caring for others.
For some, taking on a caring role can be sudden: Someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability. For others, caring responsibilities can grow gradually over time: Your parents cannot manage on their own any longer or your partner’s health gradually worsens.
The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing care day and night. While caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also impact on a person’s health, finances and relationships.
‘It has given me a lot of confidence’
Francisco DeSouza Rauto of Southall (pictured above) has been caring for his son who has severe mental health issues. He wanted some support and also wanted to get back into some part-time work. He turned to Carers Trust Thames, which partners with Ealing Council to help local carers.
Mr DeSouza Rauto, 57, said: “My son has been ill since 2015 and my wife and I had a lot of trouble finding enough care for him so I started caring for him in 2016. Last year I came across Carers Trust Thames and it has been a lot of support for me. Following the information given to me I can go to carer support group meetings every second Tuesday of the month and share my problems with other people like me. It has given me a lot of confidence. They have also given me support to help get back into work by learning IT and computer skills and hopefully I am now on the road to getting back into some part-time work.”
Getting work and finding ‘more purpose’
Ruth is a carer for her husband who has mental health issues. For seven years Ruth juggled caring for her husband with parenting their three children which left little time for herself. Last year her husband’s condition worsened and he was admitted to hospital.
Following her husband’s admission to hospital Ruth contacted the Ealing Carers Service to enquire about Carers’ Allowance. After speaking with an advisor, and getting to know the team, Ruth offered to volunteer for the service and she has become a friendly face at the carers service. Ruth has built her confidence socially, and also her English language skills, in this way.
Through a programme she accessed through the service she also learned about job seeking, about balancing a caring role with employment and about her rights as a carer in the workplace; and she attended CV writing workshops.
In August 2017 Ruth successfully applied and gained a part-time job with an agency working as a care assistant in Ealing. This allows her to use her skills and compassionate nature to benefit others who need care. Ruth has commented that she ‘has more purpose in life’ and said she finds the role rewarding’. This, combined with her volunteering at the carers centre, has given Ruth more opportunities to make a difference and to help others with her kindness.
Support for carers
- For advice on work support, call Carers Trust Thames Ealing on 020 3137 6194, or email email@example.com visit www.carerstrustthames.org.uk
- The council offers various other kinds of support, as part of its Better Lives programme. To find out what other types of support you may be eligible to receive call the council on 020 8825 8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ealing.gov.uk
- Visit a Carers Week event at Sycamore Lodge, Edgecote Close, Acton, W3 8PH. Call 020 3137 6194 for further details.