Carers open doors

10 May 2018

Carers4Carers is a social enterprise run by and for carers

A not-for-profit organisation opened their doors to the public recently, to highlight the great work they are doing in supporting unpaid carers.

Carers4Carers, a social enterprise run by and for carers, hosted an open day that included guests listening to their experiences and finding out more about services on offer to them in Lambeth.

Visitors got to take part in some of the activities the members usually do, including listening to talks and original poetry, arts and crafts, yoga and squash. The sessions were delivered by carers.

The Mayor of Lambeth, Marcia Cameron, and the leader of the council, Lib Peck, both attended in support of the organisation and spoke about the valuable work that they do in the borough.

Chief Executive of Carers4Carers, Paula Bryan, who also runs the project, used to care for her mum and now supports other carers, and takes joy in seeing the project helping others.

She said: “We focus on the physical, emotional and financial wellbeing of carers and offer a personalised service which has led to many of the carers referring to us as their extended family.

“It can be a very difficult and emotional time being a carer, and support is so important. The project provides respite for the carers and it can be anything from getting a manicure and a chat to reiki. One of the first questions new members are asked when they visit the project is ‘what would you like this group to do for you?’

“It was a really great day, we wanted everyone to integrate and experience the same service as the carers do and hear why they come to the sessions.

“I hope it provided valuable insight to those that came and we are really grateful to the Mayor and Council representatives that attended.”

“Angie is one of the regular attendees and she told us, ‘It’s the only project where everyone knows your name and they’re always glad you came.’”

Carers4Carers provide three key services. The first is Inspirational Us, funded by People’s Health Trust, with money raised by HealthWisdom through The Health Lottery.

The project is a weekly social therapy space which provides access to a range of holistic and beauty therapies, gym and fitness classes, workshops on stress relief, mindfulness, breakfast and lunch.

The total investment in Carers4Carers to date, from People’s Health Trust has been £93,820.

They also provide a family-centred activities programme for carers, the person they care for and their wider family as well as a personal development programme.

The idea is about carers supporting other carers, sharing experiences and getting respite from their caring responsibility.

Carers4Carers supported over 200 carers in 2017. Sessions are held in a recreational centre so project members can also take advantage of the sport facilities – they offer a wide range of activities including squash, swimming, yoga, Pilates and even boxing.

Sessions are held at Brixton Recreation Centre, between 10am and 3pm, and all unpaid carers are welcome to come along.

To get involved or find out more about Carers4Carers, contact Paula Bryan by emailing [email protected] or calling 020 7207 0443.

 

To see more photos from the day, click here

To find out about more great ideas funded by the Trust, click here.

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