There are 3,000 people aged six to 91 in Rhondda Cynon Taf providing care for a loved-one affected by illness, injury and disability right now.
Half of them are providing 50 hours or more care a week and there are many more who don’t even realise they are undertaking a caring role.
As Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s dedicated Carers’ Support Project prepares to mark Carers Week, which begins on Monday, carers of all ages are invited to find out more about the support, services and opportunities on offer for them – regardless of their age.
Carers give their own time, for no payment, to help a family member, friend or neighbour with poor physical or mental health, injury or illness or substance misuse issues, enabling them to live safely and independently in their own homes.
While most wouldn’t have it any other way, there is no doubt that caring for a loved-one can have an impact on other aspects of your life, such as school, employment, finance, personal or mental health and wellbeing or social opportunities.
Realising the importance of the work of carers, the Council has put in place a dedicated Carers’ Support Project which provides bespoke assistance for carers of all ages and ensures they have access to advice, peer support and a chance for some “me” time.
Recognising carers of different ages have different needs, the project ensures there is support tailored to particular age groups. Through the project, some 2,500 people aged 25 and over, 340 young carers (aged 0-18) and 63 young adult carers (18-25) are supported.
Huge amounts of work have gone into providing bespoke support for the different age groups, as it is recognised they have different needs.
For example, adult carers are offered free information on a range of issues including financial assistance that may be available to them and the chance to socialise and get together for training sessions and events.
Support for younger carers is more targeted towards ensuring they are able to continue school or college and do not miss out on friendships and social activities.
Carers’ Week runs from June 12 to June 18th and a series of free events have been organised for anyone who cares for someone else in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The week is also another chance for the Council to highlight the work of carers and ensure they have the information they need on the help that is on offer.
Cllr Geraint Hopkins, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult and Children’s Services, said:
“There are nearly 3,000 people, from children to adults, who care for someone else.
We also know there are many other people who are providing a caring role but do not realise they are carers and entitled to the support we offer.
“While carers usually wouldn’t have it any other way, it is a difficult role and it can take its toll on your personal or emotional wellbeing, your social life and also education, employment and training.
“We are here to help and there is a huge range of fun, useful and important opportunities on offer and we urge people to get involved.
“It is really important for those who are caring to get involved with our support team so they can have access to the many different opportunities that are on offer throughout the year, not just carers’ week.”
Cllr Christina Leyshon, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added:
“We are particularly proud of the bespoke support that we give young carers and young adult carers.
“We recognised that the needs of the children and young people in these two age groups were very different and have put in place allocated support workers and a programme of events, initiatives and support to ensure young people can continue to care, but are supported with their school work, homework, exams, career aspirations and, of course, continue to develop friendships and social experiences.”
Events for Carers’ Week include
- Carers’ Coffee morning. This is a fortnightly event which takes place every other Friday at Pontypridd Museum, from 10am to 12pm. The next event is June 16. Enjoy a drink and cake with other carers. Staff from the Carers Support Team will be on hand, together with a solicitor who has lots of experience working with carers.
- Carers Relaxation and Wellbeing Day at Ty Ddsgu, Nantgarw on Saturday, June 17. This is for carers of all ages and their families .Enjoy reflexology, reiki, hand massage, Indian head massage and more. There will also be workshops to try including floral workshops, how to cook healthy meals on a budget, yoga techniques to try at home, knitting, crochet and a table of children’s activities will also be on offer. Drop in any time between 10am and 4pm to relax and rejuvenate! Lunch and refreshments will be provided.
- Introduction to safe handling, from 10am to 2pm on Wednesday, June 14 at Heddfan. This course will show you how to safely handle and move the person you care for while also looking after yourself. Light lunch will be provided!
- Beginners’ Makaton on Thursday, June 8 and Thursday, June 15. Attendees need to attend both of the dates. Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people communicate.
- Carers Craft Session – Monday 12th June 10am – 2pm at Heddfan. An opportunity for Carers to get together and try some new craft techniques whilst having a coffee and chat.
If you are a carer, regardless of your age, please contact 01443 668813 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more