Carers’ Week highlights range of support for young people

PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 June 2015

A group of teenage carers at Crossroads Care.

A group of teenage carers at Crossroads Care.

Archant

WHILE their specialities may differ, various health and social care organisations across North Somerset have issued the same heart-warming message to mark Carers’ Week 2015: ‘Support is out there.’

Carers’ Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring and highlight the various complex challenges faced by carers every day.

It has been championed across the country by healthcare groups and local authorities, and North Somerset Council and healthcare regulator the North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are no exceptions.

Both the CCG and the council work as part of the Crossroads Alliance, which sees partners working together to identify and refer carers to appropriate services at an early stage.

Another main body involved in the Crossroads Alliance is Crossroads Care North Somerset, which offers support to carers across the district.

Alan Richardson is a volunteer for Crossroads. He was inspired to get involved after using the charity’s services while caring for his mother, who suffered from dementia.

Alan said: “There is lots of support out there for carers. Sometimes, you just have to take a step back and realise what it is you need.

“I became my mother’s sole carer, as we had discussed our options as a family beforehand and she wanted care at home. It was fantastic having support available from a wide range of people.

“Now in my role as a volunteer with Crossroads, I make people aware of the advice and support the service offers. I’ve taken the mobile library out this week across the district to raise awareness of Carers’ Week, and it’s been a great success.”

Crossroads Care has also reached out to young carers, of which there are about 300 in North Somerset.

The group’s chief executive Jacqui Justice said: “Many people who are looking after their parents, siblings or grandparents may not realise they are young carers.

“We have a range of support on offer for young carers, so they can meet other young carers and make friends. Lots of young carers are bullied at school because they often cannot take part in after school activities, leaving them left out of friendship networks.

“If you are a young carer, there is support available and we can help you to have a life outside of your responsibilities.”

For more information about caring, including support, call Crossroads Care North Somerset on 01934 411840 or click here.

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