This week is Carers Week and the theme is ‘Making Caring Visible.’ 54% of the general public in Northern Ireland said they’re more aware of unpaid carers now than before Covid-19 and 74% said they thought unpaid carers were not well valued.
Carers Week 2020 in the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) looks different than previous years. Normally the Trust facilitates three major events across the Western Trust area where carers can attend to have a well-earned break from their caring roles, access up to date information and meet with other carers in the same boat. However, this year things are very different, due to the ongoing restrictions around Covid-19 the Western Trust Carers Support Team have been supporting carers in an alternative way!
Cathy Magowan, Carers Coordinator for the Western Trust explained: “In the lead up to Carers Week the Trust Carers Support Team facilitated a number of Carers Picnics for members of the Carers Walking Groups. This gave a great needed opportunity for carers to come together while social distancing to catch up with each other. With the beautiful weather we have been experiencing over the past few weeks it really was a delight for carers to enjoy a delicious picnic outdoors in their local park.”
Cathy added: During Carers Week 8th – 14th June 2020 the Trust are running a number of online sessions for unpaid carers in the Western Trust area, including Managing your Caring and Virtual coffee mornings. We really are incredibly indebted to our carers who have continued to care for their loved ones and have embraced many of the online support forums during these challenging times. We are also extremely grateful for the ongoing support shown by our local communities who have donated their time and expertise to support all healthcare workers it is very much appreciated. A huge thank you to everyone for their continued support, please stay safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones.”
If you are an unpaid carer who looks after a loved one and would like information please contact the Carers Support Team, Cathy Magowan on (028) 6634 4163 Email: Cathy.Magowan@westerntrust.hscni.net
Or Geraldine McLaughlin, Carers Support Worker (028) 7135 5023 or Email: GeraldineAnn.McLaughlin@westerntrust.hscni.net