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News in Activities & Events

Coronavirus Update Joint statement

Coronavirus Update Joint statement Maureen O’Malley –Charity Manager and Linda Jones- Chair of VASL Trustee Board

VASL is a local charity based in Market Harborough, providing services and projects to improve the lives of people in our community.

These include support for family carers, young carers, older people who are lonely and isolated, providing volunteer transport to get people out and about, and activities and information to increase mental well-being.

We are a volunteer-involving organisation and most of our work is delivered by trained volunteers.

We are currently taking the necessary immediate and longer-term steps to support and protect our clients, volunteers, staff and partners from the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak, which is happening in the UK, Europe and around the World.

Our focus is to keep our services running, particularly those supporting vulnerable people: such as those using our carers support, mental health support, befriending services, and community transport.

At present, our priority is ensuring staff can run our critical services – Support for Carers, Young Carers, My Mind Matters, Community Champions, and VASL Community Transport.

VASL, like any organisation, has a duty of care towards the staff that work for the charity, our volunteers, and to the people that use our services. We have taken the step of temporarily closing our headquarters at Torch House and making some adjustments to the way we work and the services that we offer.

We are:

We will be:

We are still in the early days of the Coronavirus outbreak within the UK and things will become clearer regarding the needs, working methods, and services that we can offer. We will post regular updates on our website to keep you informed.

In the meantime, a summary of our services is as follows:

Support for Carers

Telephone: 01858 468543

Email: [email protected]

Young Carers

Tel: 01858 439268

Email: [email protected]

My Mind Matters

Tel: 01858 411383

Email: [email protected]

Community Champions

Tel: 01858 439262

Email: [email protected]

VASL Transport Scheme

 Tel: 01858 468499

Email: [email protected]

VASL  main contact details:

Tel: 01858 433232

Email: [email protected]

www.vasl.org.uk

Further reading

Read the latest Government guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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Carer Groups Postponed

Kerry Turnbull our Support for Carers Leicestershire Manager has made the decision today that our carers groups across the County will be postponed until further notice due to the Coronavirus. This includes the carers café at Waitrose in Market Harborough. We do apologise for the inconvenience however we recognise our Carers are already looking after our most vulnerable people in our community and their own health is very important to us.

I would also like to add that our telephone advice and support line is and will be in operation, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm if anyone would like to contact us for advice, information and support then please give the team a call on  01858 468543 we are her to help.

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What goes on at a carers support group?

“WHAT do you actually do at the support groups?” is a question we are frequently asked on the phones. Despite having worked for Support for Carers for five years, somehow I’d never actually been to one! All that changed today as I went along with Jacqui to her Hinckley Time Out for Carers group, in its super new venue of the Mary Forryan Centre on Leicester Road.

Jacqui had warned me that there might not be very many carers there as it was the week before Christmas, but in fact we got a dozen carers (eight women and four men) ranging in age from 40s to 90s. They were caring for loved ones including parents, spouses and children with a wide range of conditions - most commonly dementia, but also learning difficulties, mental health problems and physical maladies.

The first thing that struck me was how friendly everyone was. One chap had brought a cake as it was his 87th birthday (we didn’t believe it, as he looked a good decade younger!) The offer of a Christmas quiz was politely declined and conversation flowed over tea and cakes as people caught up – one lady hadn’t managed to go for a couple of years, in which time she had lost an amazing 4 stones in weight. The carers seemed genuinely pleased to see each other.

 Topics of conversation ranged from different sorts of dementia and their presentation, to the specifics of people’s individual caring situations, to how a carer and his wife had been teenage sweethearts in WW2, to a daughter’s career in France, to how the A14 had improved journey times to Suffolk! The 90 minutes flew by. I was able to advise a carer about accessing a Lifeline alarm and sitting services via a Carers Assessment. They told me how useful a lady from Dementia Friends had been at the last group – expert speakers are regularly invited to talk to our carers groups.

If you are a carer and Hinckley is convenient for you, why not try going along? The group meets on the third Tuesday of each month from 10:30 – 12:00 at the Mary Forryan Centre, Leicester Road, Hinckley LE10 1LW. Next meeting is 15.01.2019.

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Are you caring for a family member with difficult or challenging behaviour?

Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland have listened to local Family Carers pleas for help in learning how to handle repetitive, difficult or challenging behaviour from the family members that they are caring for. This could be anything from refusing to get dressed, refusing assistance, refusing to eat, to encountering potentially vulnerable situations. How do you maintain that loving relationship when the person you care for is pushing you to the limit or you simply don’t know how to respond?

With the kind support of Cedar Mews Care Home in Birstall, there will be a Professional Trainer on hand delivering an interactive session on how best to manage situations at their next Family Carers Workshop which takes place on Wednesday 28 November between 2pm and 4pm.

We anticipate this will be a well attended session and ask you to book via Age UK on 01509 260327, Cedar Mews on 0116 267 4835 or Eventbrite

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Health & Cultural event - Leicester

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Carers Week Olympics

As part of our month-long celebration of Carers Week in Leicestershire, we held a Carers Olympics at the Pavilion Leisure Centre in Huncote this week, in partnership with Blaby District Council.

The theme of this year's Carers Week is Healthy and Connected so we wanted to give carers a fun morning, the chance to try out new ways of keeping active, whatever their ability, and the opportunity to meet up and socialise with each other.

As you can see from these fab photos taken by Mike Walter - a great time was had by all! Around 40 carers took part enjoying activites like Bocha, Arm Chair Volleyball, Indoor Curling, Bean Bag & Bucket, Singing & Armchair Exercises and the one they all got excited about - the Egg & Spoon Race! 

Thank you to Jackie from the Support for Carers team and Blaby District Council for all their hard work organising the event. 

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Carers share their stories

Gurjit from Support for Carers was on BBC Radio Leicester recently, together with Heather and Linda, two of the carers we support. 

Listen to Heather and Linda sharing their experiences and find out more about Support for Carers from Gurjit (scroll in 15 minutes to go straight to the clip) 

That's not all...

We've also published a series of videos, featuring just a few of the many carers we support. 

Here are Heather, Linda, Philip and Chris sharing their stories: 

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CARERS WEEK 2018 EVENTS

It's Carers Week from 11th-17th June and this year's theme is Healthy and Connected. We're running events throughout the month to celebrate Carers Week and support the health and wellbeing of carers. Please see below for a full list of events or click here for a printable list (please note: the list will download as a Word document) 

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. Find out more

WEDNESDAY 6TH JUNE, 12pm-1.30pm
LEICESTER GENERAL HOSPITAL CARERS PROMOTION
SUPPORT FOR CARERS INFORMATION STAND

THURSDAY 7TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm
COALVILLE CARERS GROUP
BODITRAX MACHINE

MONDAY 11TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm
ASHBY CARERS GROUP
LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE

TUESDAY 12TH JUNE, 11am-pm
BLABY CARERS GROUP
CARERS OLYMPICS

TUESDAY 12TH JUNE, 10am-12pm
CASTLE MEDICAL GROUP ASHBY
SUPPORT FOR CARERS INFORMATION STAND

WEDNESDAY 13TH JUNE, 11am-2.30pm
SUPPORT FOR CARERS KEEPING HEALTHY AND CONNECTED EVENT IN SOUTH WIGSTON
INTERACTIVE AND INFORMATIVE EVENT

WEDNESDAY 13TH JUNE, 6.30pm-8.30pm
HARBOROUGH MENTAL ILL HEALTH CARERS GROUP
WRITING FOR MINDFULNESS

THURSDAY 14TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm
MELTON CARERS GROUP
FIRST AID TRAINING

FRIDAY 15TH JUNE, 11am-2pm
SUPPORT FOR CARERS INFORMATION AT SAINSBURYS FOSSE PARK
SUPPORT FOR CARERS INFORMATION STAND AND BAG PACKING

TUESDAY 19TH JUNE
10.30am-12pm
HINCKLEY CARERS GROUP
BASIC FIRST AID TRAINING

WEDNESDAY 20TH JUNE, 12pm-1.30pm
GLENFIELD HOSPITAL CARERS PROMOTION
SUPPORT FOR CARERS INFORMATION STAND

THURSDAY 21ST JUNE, 2.30pm-4pm
OADBY & WIGSTON CARERS GROUP
SEATED EXERCISE

MONDAY 25TH JUNE, 2.30pm-4pm
LOUGHBOROUGH CARERS GROUP
SEATED EXERCISE

TUESDAY 26TH JUNE, 10.30am-12pm
BOTTESFORD CARERS GROUP
BASIC FIRST AID TRAINING

THURSDAY 28TH JUNE, 1.30pm-3pm
HARBOROUGH CARERS GROUP
FIRE SAFETY TALK

To find out more about any of the events above please call us on 01858 468 543 or email [email protected]

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CARERS WEEK 2018: Carers Pilates launching 5th June

The theme of this year's Carers Week 2018 is Healthy and Connected and this new 12-week Carers Pilates course certainly fits the fill! 

The course starts on Tuesday 5th June and runs to 28th August (except on 12th June when there's a Carer's Event) at Castle Medical Group, Ascebi House, 118 Burton Road, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, LE65 2LP. 

Sessions run from 10.30am-11.30am and cost £3 per session or £30 for all 12 weeks (saving you £6). 

If you look after someone, Pilates is a great way to strengthen and tone your muscles, including your back muscles. Plus, it'll leave you feeling more relaxed and energised. 

Booking is essential. To secure your place: 

Call: 01530 454558
Email [email protected]

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Message in a Bottle campaign launches at Leicester Royal Infirmary

It was great to be involved with the launch of the Message in a Bottle campaign at Leicester Royal Infirmary on Friday - attended by Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Jonathan Ashworth, MP for Leicester South. 

Kerry and Jackie from the Support for Carers team attended the launch, which was led by Leicestershire Police and attended by a range of organisations including The Lions - who first introduced the Message in a Bottle scheme. 

We've featured the life-saving Message in a Bottle campaign in our latest newsletter (page 6), which has gone out to over 4,000 carers in Leicestershire and is also available on our website.

Leicester Royal Infirmary is adopting the Message in a Bottle scheme as part of its discharge procedures. The scheme involves giving a plastic bottle to anyone with a serious medical condition. They simply complete the form inside the bottle, with vital medical and personal information, and keep the bottle in the fridge. Keeping this information handy, in a place where emergency responders will know where to look, will make a real difference in the event of a medical emergency or if a person with dementia goes missing for example.

Leicester Royal Infirmary are planning to give every elderly or vulnerable patient a bottle when they're discharged from hospital, and the bottles are also available from any police station in Leicestershire with a front desk, as well as Leicestershire County Council Libraries and many GP surgeries.

Mike Cawley from Leicestershire Police gave a talk to staff at the hospital, and Jonathan Ashworth MP visited wards at the hospital, as well as attending the launch. We also spoke to him about the vital work Support for Carers does to help carers throughout Leicestershire and how we're preparing for Carers Week. 

Find out more in our newsletter 

Find out more about the event on the Leicestershire Police website 

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Dementia Awareness Drop-in Day - 22 May

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust is hosting a drop-in day on the theme of dementia awareness on Tuesday 22 May at Charnwood Mill, Sileby Road, Barrow-upon-Soar, Loughborough, LE12 8LR between 10am and 4pm.

Support for Carers will be there so please come along and say hello to us and meet other organisations including Dementia UK, The Purple Angel Dementia Campaign, Alzheimer's Society and the Young Onset Dementia Service.

Anyone is welcome to drop-in at the event, which is being held as part of national Dementia Action Week. You'll be able to find out what services and support are available from the NHS and voluntary sector in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Admission and parking are free, with tea and cake provided. 

To find out more email [email protected] or call 07748 791 434.

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State of Caring 2018: Have your say

Carers UK are asking carers to help them show the reality of what it means to care for a family member or friend - by completing their State of Caring Survey 2018

This will be the most extensive survey into carers' experiences in the UK and the results will be published later in the year. 

Your support will help Carers UK campaign for change. For example, this year, they're campaigning for carers to be able to access a break from their caring role, for a rise in Carer's Allowance and for stronger rights for carers who are juggling work and care. 

Last year, more than 7,000 carers shared their experience via the State of Caring Survey 2017

Fill in the survey 

Find out more 

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Harborough Lotto launches to support local good causes

Harborough Lotto is a weekly online lottery created to support local causes in Harborough District - including VASL, the charity behind the Support for Carers project! 

The first ever draw is on Saturday 5th May at 8pm so to be in with a chance of winning up to £25,000 plus one of five £50 Amazon vouchers, why not buy a ticket? Even if you don't win, you'll be helping to support local good causes including local carers. 

Following on from the first draw on 5th May, the draw will take place weekly. Tickets cost £1 per week with 60% going to local good causes. 

Find out more and good luck!

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Joining Forces Coffee Mornings for Older Veterans

Are you, or do you care for, an older veteran? 

Joining Forces, Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland's new project to support older veterans in Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland, is holding several Veterans Coffee Mornings for older veterans and their carers, spouses, families, widows and widowers. 

The coffee mornings are on: 

Monday 9th April & Monday 14th May from 10am-12pm 
At
Hermitage FM Community Coffee Lounge
Memorial Square
Coalville
Leicestershire
LE67 3TU

And: 

Wednesday 11th April from 10.30am-12.30pm
Gorse Covert Community Centre
Maxwell Drive
Loughborough
Leicestershire
LE11 4RZ 

Please come along and meet other veterans as well as Joining Forces staff. 

Tea, coffee, cake and refreshments will be available as well as a very warm welcome.

To find out more please call Jill or Michaela on 0116 2614 605 or email [email protected]

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Discover yourself and your dreams

Are you unsure of what's truly important to you?
Do you need clarity?
Do you need help reaching your goals? 

Age UK Leicestershire & Rutland is holding a Vision Board Workshop on Tuesday 10th April from 10am-12.30pm at Age UK, Thorncroft, 244 London Road, Leicester, LE2 1RH - which may be just the thing to help you begin the process of discovering yourself and your dreams. 

Call: 0116 204 6440 or 0116 223 7370 to book your place

Refreshments provided. 

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Do you have questions about dementia?

The Alzheimer's Society are running a series of Dementia Community Roadshows in Leicestershire, to provide information and support to those affected by dementia. 

Wednesday 4 April, 10am-4pm
Market Place (by Boots) Loughborough 

Thursday 5 April, 10am-4pm
Highcross, Shires Lane, Leicester

Friday 6 April, 10am-4pm
Asda Fosse Park, Leicester

To find out more visit www.alzheimers.org.uk/roadshow

For advice and support please call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122

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Are you a carer in North West Leicestershire?

Professionals supporting carers in North West Leicestershire are getting together on 12th April to attend a Carers Forum - enabling them to share information and ideas, and together improve the support network for the growing population of carers in the area.

Kerry, our Carers Service Manager, will be attending on behalf of Support for Carers and we'll bring you an update from the event very soon. Professionals attending the event will include medical professionals, health visitors, social workers, Patient Participation Groups, local charities and hospices. 

We currently support 641 carers in the North West Leicestershire area.

If you, or somone you know, could benefit from our support:

Call: 01858 468 543
Email [email protected] 

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FREE Writing for Wellbeing course for carers

Are you an older carer living in Leicestershire?

Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland have teamed up with Beauty and Utility Arts to run a FREE Writing for Wellbeing course for older carers at Charnwood Museum, Granby Street, Loughborough, LE11 3DU. 

The course will run on Wednesday 11th, 18th, and 25th April and Wednesday 2nd May, from 10.30am-12.30pm. 

Join writer Katie Sone at four relaxed and enjoyable Writing for Wellbeing sessions and explore how writing can be good for you, slowing busy minds and stimulating ideas and precious memories. 

Numbers are limited so please book your FREE place by calling Jeanette Silver from Age UK on 01509 260327 or email [email protected]

Find out more about the course

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Do you care for someone who feels unsteady on their feet?

Leicestershire County Council are holding a Slipper Exchange Event at Coalville Library on 10th April, between 10am-1pm. Designed to help people feel steady on their feet, the person you care for just needs to bring their old slippers and they'll be given a FREE pair of comfortable, safe, Velcro slippers in exchange.

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Reaching new carers

We've been out and about in the community again - this time at an event organised by Age UK in partnership with Nicky Morgan MP on Saturday 10th March in Loughborough - to help older people plan for a more positive retirement and ageing well. 

We had a stand at the event with other exhibitors including charities, emergency services, health providers and public sector suppliers. 

It was a great opportunity for us to talk to a wide range of people and best of all, we reached five new carers who are now receiving help from Support for Carers, underlining the importance of attending community events like this. 

Many thanks to Gurjit from our Support for Carers team.

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Health Awareness Event: Coping with Cancer - 17th March in Quorn

If you're caring for someone with cancer and live near Quorn why not come along to Quorn Medical Centre's Health Awareness event 'Coping with Cancer' on Saturday 17th March from 1pm at Quorn Village Hall, 64 Leicester Road, LE12 8BB?

There'll be a range of help and advice on offer including talks from two consulants and the chance to visit information stands and talk to representatives from a range of organisations - including VASL's Support for Carers project, as well as Age UK, Bowel Cancer Screening, Coping with Cancer, LOROS, Loughborough Cancer Self-Help Group, Macmillan, Together Against Cancer and Quorn Medical Centre.

Kerry from the Support for Carers team will be on hand to tell you all about our support services for carers and how we can help you, so please come and say hello!

To find out more please call us on 01858 468 543 or email [email protected]

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Have your say on carers services in Leicestershire

Help shape services for carers in Leicestershire by making sure you have your say on the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland draft Joint Carers Strategy 2018-2021

The strategy sets out a shared vision and priorities for recognising, valuing and supporting carers. It's been put together by Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, Rutland County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland - with feedback from local carers. 

Partner organisations have also helped to develop the strategy including VASL - the charity behind Support for Carers - as well as Healthwatch, Alzheimer's Society, The Carers Centre, Barnados and Age UK Leicestershire. 

The strategy includes key priorities and planned actions to support carers across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, to help you continue in your caring role and maintain your own health and wellbeing. Your feedback will help Leicestershire's councils and CCGs develop detailed action plans to support the Joint Carers Strategy. 

It's really important for you to have your say and help shape the carers' services you'd like to see where you live, including how you might be affected by the new strategy. 

Find out more and complete the survey 

Please submit your views by midnight on 22 April 2018

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The Big Social Care Survey

The Government has promised to change the adult social care system in England to make it fit for the future. The Care & Support Alliance, representing over 80 of Britain's leading charities, want the Government to hear the experiences of people and their families who need, or have needed, adult care and support. 

Social care can include:

Please take 15 minutes to complete their short survey to share your experience

The Care & Support Alliance will use your answers as part of their campaigning work for a properly funded care system - to give older people, disabled people and their carers decent care and support.

Your responses won't be used in a way that identifies you, or your family publicly, and any data you share will be held securely and deleted when no longer needed. If you'd like to share your story more widely, there's an opportunity to give the Care and Support Alliance your contact details at the end of the survey.

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Message in a Bottle

Jackie from VASL's Support for Carers team joined 65 other people who work with older people or the vulnerable at Leicestershire Police headquarters last Friday - to find out more about the Message in a Bottle scheme. 

The Message in a Bottle scheme is run by The Lions and is aimed at people with serious medical conditions - but thanks to funding from the Community Safety Partnership in Oadby and Wigston and a local sponsor - Leicestershire Police force has been able to make 6,000 bottles available free of charge to people with Alzheimer's and dementia as well. 

Everyone who picks up a bottle will also be given a Herbert Protocol form, which, when filled in, contains vital personal and medical information such as medication required, mobile numbers and places previously visited. This can prove vitally important, especially in a situation in which someone with Alzheimer's or dementia has gone missing. 

The bottle is kept in the fridge, helping emergency responders to access the potentially lifesaving information. This ensures people are treated quickly, which can save time and lives. 

You can pick up a bottle free from any police station in Leicestershire that has a front enquiry desk.

To find out more please call Jackie from Support for Carers on 01858 468 543 or email [email protected]

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We’re looking for telephone befrienders

We're looking for volunteers to join our amazing team of telephone befrienders - to give carers the chance to talk to someone who understands about caring and hear a friendly voice on the phone once a week. Could you help? 

The Carers Telephone Befriending Service has been supporting carers in Harborough District for many years - and the service is also available throughout Leicestershire.

As a volunteer telephone befriender, you'll phone your carer/s once a week at a time to suit them, to see how they're getting on and have a chat.

In a nutshell, the sevice provides carers with a supportive friend at the end of the phone. 

Volunteering with us is a simple and rewarding way to help carers and share your own experience, and we'll give you all the support and training you need. 

If you'd like to find out more please call us on 01858 468 543 or email [email protected]

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Caring for the Carer Campaign

We're working with GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals to provide more support for carers in Leicestershire - including Rosebery Medical Centre and Rosebery Pharmacy in Loughborough. 

Following a presentation we gave there last year, Rosebery Medical Centre were inspired to do more to help carers. They've launched a campaign called Caring for the Carer, with promotional materials and Support for Carers information around the centre, to help reach out to people caring for a loved one, family member or friend.

The aim is to reach more carers, make sure they're registered at the surgery with a GP, and encourage them to get the specialist help they need via Support for Carers. 

The Rosebery Pharmacy is also taking part in the campaign, by placing a Caring for the Carer card in every prescription bag collected. 

Rosebery Medical Centre is part of the Charnwood Community Medical Group and the Caring for the Carer campaign will also run in their other two surgeries - Forest Edge Medical Centre and Outwoods Medical Centre very soon. 

Watch this space! 

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Free event - fraud and cyber-crime

Leicestershire Police are hosting a free-to-attend event to help protect you and those close to you against fraud and cyber-crime. View the poster The event is on Friday 23rd March from 10am-3pm in the Lecture Theatre, Police HQ, St Johns, Enderby, Leicester, LE19 2BX. You're welcome to go along to get advice and information on things like doorstep crime, scam mail and cold callers; plus cyber-crime and how to keep your information safe whilst using the computer. Lunch provided. 

To find out more and book your place: 

Email: [email protected] 

Call: 0116 248 5322 

No invite necessary but recommended to reserve a place due to capacity.

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Courses for learners with learning difficulties/disabilities

Leicester City Council has a range of specialist courses for people with learning difficulties or disabilities designed to develop things like the use of words and numbers, communication and self-expression.

The courses have been developed to ensure that students experience the positive effects of learning, enjoying increased independence and wellbeing, a wider social circle and new interests and skills. 

Courses include everything from poetry, movement to music and drama, to creative arts and pottery. 

Find out more at www.leicester.gov.uk/adulteducation or call Leicester City Council on  0116 454 1900.

View the poster 

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Hospitals in Leicester: Have your say

Do you have a disability? Are you a carer? This event is your chance to have your say about hospitals in Leicester. It's on Tuesday 16th January, 1.30pm-3.30pm at West End Neighbourhood Centre, Andrewes Street, Leicester, LE3 5PA. Refreshments provided. 

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Love knitting or keen to give it a go?

Love knitting or interested in getting started? The Knit and Natter Group is a drop-in social group for carers that meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 1.30pm to 3pm at The Angel Hotel, High Street, Market Harborough, LE16 7AF. 

Knitters and non-knitters welcome! 

To find out more call Jackie from Support for Carers on 0845 689 9510.

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

Dementia Harborough has loads of great events coming up including a Dementia Cafe, Singing for Memories Group, Christmas Lunch and a Christmas Party. The charity supports people affected by dementia in Market Harborough and the surrounding areas, including their carers. 

Click here for a full list of activities coming up 

Click here to find out more about Dementia Harborough

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Have you read our latest newsletter?

Take a look inside our latest newsletter for plenty of top tips for carers such as advice for dementia carers, details of 2 for 1 cinema and theatre tickets and all you need to know about Carers Assessments - as well as a round up of groups for carers around Leicestershire.

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Have your say!

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust are holding a big conversation where they want to bring together patients, carers and staff to have a big conversation about what they can do to ensure that privacy and dignity are embedded in the care they deliver. 

The event is on 16th November from 12.30pm to 4pm at the NSPCC Centre, 3 Gilmour Close, Leicester, LE4 1EZ. The session will be an interactive one involving conversations around the three questions on the invite below, plus a light lunch. 

To find out more or book please email [email protected]

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Health Promotion Event - 14 October

The NHS is holding a Health Promotion Event on Saturday 14th October from 12pm to 4pm at Belgrave Health Centre, 52 Brandon Street, Leicester, LE4 6AW.

Go along to find out more about Care Navigators, Latent TB Testing and Flu Immunisation. There'll also be health and wellbeing advice on offer including healthy eating and a fresh fruit stall; exercise sessions; blood testing; and weight and height measurement. Plus advice and information from The Alzheimer's Society, Vista, British Red Cross and the Richmond Fellowship

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Balance & Mobility classes starting 1st November

Blaby District Council is launching a rejuvenating exercise programme called Strong and Steady on 1st November - designed to help develop strength and balance. The classes are designed for those over 65, who are concerned about balance and mobility, or feel unsteady on their feet. 

The sessions will be held weekly every Wednesday - from 1st November - at Parish Hall, Kings Drive, Leicester Forest East from 11.15am to 12.15pm. (£3 per session including refreshments). 

To find out more please contact Blaby District Council Health and Leisure Services on 0116 272 7703 or email [email protected] 

Download the poster for full details 

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Want to learn life saving First Aid skills?

The Carers Centre is running First Aid Training on 13th November from 10.30am at LCiL, Andrewes Street, Leicester, LE3 5PA.

To find out more and book a place please call Nadine Wood on 0116 251 0999 or email [email protected]

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The Singing Cafe is coming to Leicestershire!

The Singing Cafe is a cafe for people with mental health challenges including memory loss and dementia. Singing is good for you so why not take the person you care for along, so they can enjoy singing songs and meeting new people? 

It starts on Tuesday 3rd October at Melton Library from 1.15pm-2.15pm and will also be running at Shepshed Library from 10.15am - 11.15am on Tuesdays, Loughborough Library from 10.15am - 11.15am on Fridays and Coalville Library from 1.30pm - 2.30pm on Fridays. 

The Singing Cafe is run by WOW Church, a registered charity, and they ask for a £3 voluntary donation per person, which includes refreshments. Accompanying carers need to stay with the person they care for. 

To find out more please visit www.singingcafe.co.uk or call 07875 378 628. 

(During public and school holidays please check that the Cafe is on).

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Be inspired! Learn something new!

The Open University offers around 1,000 FREE online courses and there's a wide range of subjects to choose from. 

There are lots of benefits to learning something new, whether you'd like to boost your mood, increase your confidence, develop new skills or simply feel inspired. 

OpenLearn free courses are available immediately - there's no start or end date, so you can start at a time that suits you and work through the course at your own pace, online. 

Courses vary from academic subjects to skills development for study or work - so you're sure to find something to suit you. Plus of course, it's a great way to see if distance learning and The Open University is for you, before you sign up to a paid course. 

Find out more

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FREE cinema tickets for carers

The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA).

The Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.

The Card is also one way for cinemas to make sure they look after their disabled guests. If the person you care for requires an adjustment to visit a cinema because of their disability, cinema staff should help, whether they have a CEA Card or not.

The Card is developed by UKCA’s Disability Working Group, whose members include film exhibitors and distributors, and national disability charities such as Action on Hearing Loss, the RNIB, Dimensions and Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Find out more

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Do you care for someone with dementia and live in Lutterworth?

The Alzheimer's Society are running a series of workshops in Lutterworth to give carers information and support. 

The Carer Information and Support Programme is a series of workshops run over four sessions, for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It provides an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidental environment about your experiences and the impact they're having on you.  

Workshop topics include: 

Course dates - Lutterworth: 

Venue: The Wycliffe Medical Practice (The Community Room), Gilmorton Road, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 4EB.

Who will be there?

The workshops are run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. If you're unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available.

To find out more 

Please call Sara Lovett on 0116 231 1111 / 07483 926083 or email [email protected]

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Do you care for someone with dementia and live in Wigston?

The Alzheimer's Society are running a series of workshops in Wigston to give carers information and support. 

The Carer Information and Support Programme is a series of workshops run over four sessions, for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It provides an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidental environment about your experiences and the impact they're having on you.  

Workshop topics include: 

Course dates - Wigston  

Venue: Wigston Central Surgery (Meeting Room 2), Two Steeples Medical Centre, 10 Abington Close, Wigston, LE18 2EW.

Who will be there?

The workshops are run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. If you're unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available.

To find out more 

Please call Sara Lovett on 0116 231 1111 / 07483 926083 or email [email protected]

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Do you care for someone with dementia and live in Leicester?

The Alzheimer's Society are running a series of workshops in Leicester to give carers information and support - open to Leicester City residents. 

The Carer Information and Support Programme is a series of workshops run over four sessions, for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It provides an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidental environment about your experiences and the impact they're having on you.  

Workshop topics include: 

Course dates - Thurncourt, Leicester  

Venue: Thurnby Lodge Community Centre (The Annex), Thurncourt Road, Leicester, LE5 2NG.

Who will be there?

The workshops are run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. If you're unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available.

To find out more 

Please call Sara Lovett on 0116 231 1111 / 07483 926083 or email [email protected]

This programme is being delivered as part of Leicester Ageing Together (LAT), a project working with 16 partners to reduce social isolation for those over 50. For more information about LAT and the other organisations involved, please contact 0116 249 8850. 

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Do you need help to get online - or know someone who does?

Would you like help to get online - or do you know someone who could benefit from being online - to access support and information, shop or use social sites like Facebook for example? 

We're here to support carers on a one to one basis or in a group setting to learn how to:

* Carry out basic computer tasks

* Send e-mails

* Securely look at websites

* Use Facebook, Skype, Facetime

* Find a range of information

* Benefit from shopping online

* Access useful applications

… and many more things!

You don’t need big fancy computers, this can all be done on a tablet, smart phone or laptop computer.

Please call us on 0845 689 9510 or email [email protected] to find out more. 

(Calls are charged at local rates, unless from a mobile)

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Carers enjoy an afternoon out

27 carers enjoyed an afternoon of fun and scrumptious food at our Market Harborough Support for Carers trip to the Blitz Tearooms in Kettering in July, a wonderful 1940's themed tea rooms.

We left Market Harborough in two minibuses and soon got into the 1940's spirit by singing along to songs from the era, chatting and laughing at each other in our headscarves and tommy helmets!

On arrival at the Blitz Tearooms, we were greeted by their friendly staff and served with great big pots of tea and an abundance of beautiful homemade food.

The comments we received from carers throughout the day were all very positive, saying what a wonderful time they we're having, how much the treat was appreciated, and the difference it made to have an afternoon out.

We would like to say a big thank you to Market Harborough & The Bowdens Charity for their generous donation. 

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Are you a carer near Beaumont Leys?

The Carers Centre is running a FREE support programme for anyone caring for a family member or friend, with any condition, starting at Tesco Beaumont Leys in Leicester on Monday 7th August from 10am-1pm.

The programme is called Prepared to Care with Confidence and it will run over six weeks in a relaxed and friendly environment (carers are asked to come to as many sessions as they can).

Caring can have a huge impact on your own health and wellbeing, with many carers saying they feel isolated, unsure where to go for advice and support, worried about the future, not heard and sometimes unable to cope.

Prepared to Care with Confidence can help with these problems and more - with sessions covering Finding Your Way, Caring and Coping, Managing Stress Effectively, Caring and Communication, Caring Day-to-Day and Caring, Working & Life.

The programme will be held at Tesco, in the Community Space off aisle 24, 1 Bradgate Mall, Beaumont Leys Shopping Centre, Leicester, LE4 1DE. Complimentary refreshments provided. 

To book your place or have a chat about the programme please call Ranjana or Debbie at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999. 

Click here to download full programme details (please note it will download as a Word document to your downloads folder)

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Could you save money off your energy bills?

Citizens Advice Leicestershire is running a series of Switch & Save Roadshows to help you save money off your energy bills. 

Wednesday 13th September, 10am - 1pm
Braunstone Civic Centre, 209 Kingsway, LE3 2PP 

Wednesday 20th September, 10am - 1pm 
Blaby Civic Centre, 22-24 Leicester Road, LE8 4GQ

Wednesday 27th September, 10am - 1pm
Sapcote Library, Church Street, LE9 4FG 

Thursday 28th September, 10am - 1pm
Glenfield Parish Council, 35 Stamford Street, LE3 8DL 

If you go along to a roadshow, please take an energy bill or letter about your tariff to get an accurate comparison. 

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Carers Self-Help Group - Leicester

Do you feel you're not listened to? Do you have problems with paperwork linked to caring? Do you have caring issues that you want to talk about with others in a confidential setting? Do you feel you have some skills that might help others - from form-filling to listening? 

If you've answered yes to any of these questions the Carers Self-Help Group run by The Carers Centre could be for you. 

The group meets at The Carers Centre, Unit 19, Matrix House, 7 Constitution Hill, Leicester, LE1 1PL. 

Click here for full details and meeting dates. (Please note it will download as a Word document to your desktop or downloads folder). 

To find out more please call Debbie or Gill on 0116 2510999.

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FREE course for carers in Countesthorpe

A new support course for carers is starting in Countesthorpe today - run by The Carers Centre. The FREE course is called Caring with Confidence and it's open to anyone caring for a family member or friend, with any condition. 

The course runs over six weeks and you're welcome to go to as many sessions as you can - so don't worry if you've missed the first one today. Simply go along to meet other carers and to get advice and support on all aspects of caring. 

Click here for full details (please note: it will download as a Word document to your downloads folder).

Complimentary refreshments are provided.

To book your place or to have a chat about the programme, please call Ranjana or Debbie at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999.

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Information sessions for carers

The Carers Centre is running a range of information sessions for carers - on a variety of topics including Personal Independence Payments, Wills and Trusts, Carers Assessments, Thinking Ahead, Mental Capacity: Power of Attorney and Deputyship/Court of Protection, Relaxation and how not to avoid it, Carers Rights and open sessions.

All sessions are held in the Meeting Room at The Carers Centre, Unit 19, Matrix House, Constitution Hill, Leicester. To find out more and book your place on any session please call Debbie, Debra or Lindsy on 0116 2510999 or email [email protected]

Click here to download full details of the sessions including dates and times (please note: it will download as a Word document to your downloads folder) 

If you have any suggestions for future topics, please get in touch with The Carers Centre team as above. 

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Have your say!

The Communities Strategy sets out Leicestershire County Council's plans to support, strengthen and empower communities - and now they're asking local people to have their say. 

Find out more and have your say at www.leicestershirecommunities.org.uk

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Discover your creative side

The Carers Centre runs craft sessions for carers every month so if you fancy discovering your creative side why not go along and have a go? All sessions will run at The Carers Centre, Matrix House, Constitution Hill, Leicester LE1 1PL.

To find out more call Nadine on 0116 251 0999 or email [email protected] 

Forthcoming sessions include: 

To find out more:

Call Nadine on 0116 251 0999 or email [email protected]

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Do you care for someone with dementia? Want information and support?

The Alzheimer's Society is running a series of workshops run over four sessions, for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. Known as the Carer Information and Support Programme, the workshops will be an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidential environment about your experiences and the impact they're having on you.          

The workshops are designed to provide carers with information and support. Topics will include:

- What is dementia?
- How can you support and care for someone with dementia?
- Support services available
- Planning for the future

When & Where? 

The course is being held at Gorse Covert Community Centre, Maxwell Drive, Loughborough, LE11 4RZ from Wednesday 12th July as follows: 

Session 1 - Wednesday 12th July 
Session 2 - Wednesday 19th July
Session 3 - Wednesday 26th July 
Session 4 - Wednesday 2nd August 

All sessions will run from 2pm - 4.30pm. 

Who will be there? 

The workshops are run by Alzheimer's Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. Please aim to attend all sessions if possible. If you're unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available. 

Find out more 

To find out more and book your place please call Sara Lovett on 0116 231 1111 / 07483 926083 or email [email protected]         

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Do you care for a young person or adult with learning disabilities?

The Family Carers Sub Group are part of the Leicestershire Learning Disability Partnership Board. They work with the Partnership Board on issues that affect family carers of adults with learning disabilities and young people in the process of moving to Adult Services (transitions). They also network with other groups within health and social care. Their aim is to improve support for family carers and the people you care for. 

The Family Carers Sub Group meets at County Hall, Glenfield from 10am-12.30pm. Their next meeting dates are 3rd July and 4th September. 

If you'd like to find out more and get involved please call Gill or Lindsy at the Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999 or email [email protected]

Download more information about forthcoming meetings (Word document) 

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The Carers Centre: Carers Self Help Group

The Carers Centre runs a self-help group for carers in Leicester. With the support of either Charles or Gill from The Carers Centre, carers get together to help each other deal with caring issues. This could include thinking about how to put your message over on a form or at a meeting, looking at specific issues such as safeguarding or carers' assessments or anything else around caring. The groups meets at The Carers Centre, Unit 19, 7 Constitution Hill, Leicester, LE1 1PL from 11am-1pm. 

May meeting dates

Friday 26th May 

June meeting dates

Thursday 1st June
Friday 9th June
Thursday 15th June
Thursday 29th June 

To find out more call The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999.

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Do you live in Leicester and care for someone with a learning disability?

The Carers Centre is holding a meeting for carers who live in Leicester City and care for a person with a Learning Disability. The meeting will be held on Friday 30th June from 10.30am to 12.30pm at The Carers Centre, Unit 19, 7 Constitution Hill, Leicester, LE1 1PL. Feel free to go along to find out more and talk about the Learning Disability Partnership Board, local and national issues around learning disabilities and the types of short breaks available - while raising any concerns you have. 

To find out more call The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999.

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Do you live in Leicester?

The Carers Centre is holding a City Carers Forum on Thursday 25th May from 10.30am-12.30pm at The Carers Centre, Unit 19, 7 Constitution Hill, Leicester, LE1 1PL. The meeting is open to people from the City, who care for someone with a disability or someone who needs additional support due to their age or frailty. The topic of the meeting is 'Caring and mental health' and is an open disussion for family carers to raise any concerns they may have. 

To find out more call The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999.

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Do you care for someone with autism?

The Carers Centre is inviting carers of people with autism to a meeting on Thursday 18 May from 10am - 12.30pm at The Carers Centre, Unit 19, 7 Constitution Hill, Leicester, LE1 1PL. The meeting is open to all carers, parents and friends of people with autism from the city, county and Rutland. The topic of the meeting is The Triad of Understanding and the guest speaker is Jackie Robinson. 

To find out more call The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999. 

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Have your say!

Leicestershire County Council are inviting carers to help them develop a new strategy for carers - that focuses on the things that can make a real difference to you as a carer. Join them to share your views, ideas and experiences on 30th May, 1pm at Leicestershire County Hall. 

To find out more and book your place please call Nicki Jarvis on 0116 305 9382 or email [email protected] or call Chetna Keshav on 0116 3053982 or email [email protected]

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Afternoon tea anyone?

Age UK is opening a "Forget Me Not" Memory Cafe for people with dementia and their carers on Friday 28th July. You're welcome to go along to the opening from 2.30pm-4pm at Age UK Oadby & Wigston, 51 Paddock Street, Wigston, Leicester for Afternoon Tea - including a selection of sandwiches and cakes plus tea or coffee (£8 for 2 people). 

To find out more and book your place call 0116 288 5203. 

The cafe will be hosting regular entertainment and memorabilia every Friday afternoon. 

To find out more call 0116 288 5203. 

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Age UK Open Day for carers of people with dementia

Age UK are holding an Open Day for carers of people with dementia on Thursday 15th June from 9.30am to 4pm. Come and enjoy a complimentary drink and cake and see what Age UK have to offer - at Age UK Oadby & Wigston, 51 Paddock Street, Wigston, Leicester. 

To find out more call Joy Husband on 0116 288 5203.

New cafe opening 

Look out for the "Forget Me Not" Memory Cafe opening on Friday 28th July!

To find out more call Joy Husband on 0116 288 5203.

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FREE course: Caring with Confidence

The Carers Centre is running a FREE course for carers in July called Caring with Confidence - for anyone caring for a family member or friend, with any condition. The course starts on Thursday 20th July from 10am-1pm at Countesthorpe Village Hall, Station Road, Countesthorpe, Leicestershire, LE8 5TB. 

Caring for a chronically ill or disabled loved one can have a huge impact on your own health and wellbeing and many carers say they feel isolated, experience feelings of being unable to cope, are unsure where to go for advice and support, are worried about the future or feel they are not being heard. Others say they would like the chance to meet others in a similar situation.

The Caring with Confidence programme can help with these problems and is held in a relaxed and friendly environment. The programme runs over six weeks so come to as many sessions as you can. Everyone welcome! Bring a friend or a family member if you think they could also benefit. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

To book your place or to have a chat about the programme, please call Ranjana or Debbie at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999. Alternatively, please download the programme flyer (please note it will download as a Word document to your desktop or downloads folder). 

About the Programme 

Finding Your Way
Thursday 20th July   

An introductory session which welcomes you to the programme and explains more about each session and how it can help you in your caring role. It looks at the importance of your health and wellbeing and how to tackle your concerns constructively.

Caring and Coping
Thursday 27th July  

Gives you time and space to look at the emotions involved in looking after someone and how to recognise and deal with stress more effectively.

Managing Stress Effectively
Thursday 3rd August    

Relaxation and how not to avoid it!  Will reiterate the negative effect of stress on you, physically, mentally, how you feel and its impact on your behaviour. Learn simple relaxation techniques to incorporate in everyday life to help you combat the effects of stress. Explore ways to help you juggle your caring role and find valuable time for yourself!

Caring and Communication
Thursday 10th August   

Helps you get the best from communicating with professionals and service providers. Ideas to help with self-advocacy and find out more about local support available to you.

Caring Day-to-Day
Thursday 17th August   

The essentials of caring for someone every day from medication to emergencies. Discussions around equipment available to help keep someone safe in their own home and looking at the awareness of moving and handling.

Quote from carers who recently attended the programme:

"Feeling very lost and alone, carers need these sessions for their own wellbeing and development. These sessions have been a voyage of personal discovery, hopefully leading to my own restoration, both mentally and physically." Karen

"I can certainly recommend this course, as it helped me understand where we are, how important we are and take time out for ourselves. The sessions where carried out in a friendly atmosphere." John

"I am able to keep calm and feel more confident about making decisions etc. Thank you so much for this. It has made me feel more positive and confident. This has been the best help I could have wished for, better than any therapy. If only I had found this sooner, I may not have been so down." Debbie

To book your place or to have a chat about the programme, please call Ranjana or Debbie at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999. 

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FREE course: Prepared to Care with Confidence

The Carers Centre is running a FREE support programme for anyone caring for a family member or friend, with any condition. The popular course is called Prepared to Care with Confidence and it's on at Age UK, Clarence House, 46 Humberstone Gate, Leicester, LE1 3PJ from Tuesday 13th June 2017 at 10am to 1pm. 

Caring for a chronically ill or disabled loved one can have a huge impact on your own health and wellbeing and many carers say they feel isolated, experience feelings of being unable to cope, are unsure where to go for advice and support, are worried about the future or feel they are not being heard. Others say they would like the chance to meet others in a similar situation.

Prepared to Care with Confidence can help with these problems and is held in a relaxed and friendly environment. The programme runs over six weeks so come to as many sessions as you can. Everyone welcome! Bring a friend or a family member if you think they could also benefit. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.

To book your place or to have a chat about the programme, please call Ranjana or Debbie at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999. Alternatively, please download the programme leaflet (please note it will download as a Word document to your desktop or downloads folder). 

About the programme 

The programme will include the following sessions: 

Finding Your Way
Tuesday 13th June   

An introductory session which welcomes you to the programme and explains more about each session and how it can help you in your caring role. It looks at the importance of your health and wellbeing and how to tackle your concerns constructively.

Caring and Coping
Tuesday 20th June 

Gives you time and space to look at the emotions involved in looking after someone and how to recognise and deal with stress more effectively.

Managing Stress Effectively
Tuesday 27th June   

Relaxation and how not to avoid it!  Will reiterate the negative effect of stress on you, physically, mentally, how you feel and its impact on your behaviour. Learn simple relaxation techniques to incorporate in everyday life to help you combat the effects of stress. Explore ways to help you juggle your caring role and find valuable time for yourself!

Caring and Communication
Tuesday 4th July  

Helps you get the best from communicating with professionals and service providers. Ideas to help with self-advocacy and find out more about local support available to you.

Caring Day-to-Day
Tuesday 11th July   

The essentials of caring for someone every day from medication to emergencies. Discussions around equipment available to help keep someone safe in their own home and looking at the awareness of moving and handling.

Caring, Working & Life
Tuesday 18th July   

Invites you to take time out and think about how to juggle competing demands and how your caring role fits with other aspects of your life. This session also explores options available for work, including training, education, volunteering and leisure. You’ll look at the many skills you have (even if you haven’t spotted them yet) and start to decide what changes, if any, you want to make in your life.

Quote from carers who recently attended the programme:

"Feeling very lost and alone, carers need these sessions for their own wellbeing and development. These sessions have been a voyage of personal discovery, hopefully leading to my own restoration, both mentally and physically." Karen

"I can certainly recommend this course, as it helped me understand where we are, how important we are and take time out for ourselves. The sessions where carried out in a friendly atmosphere." John

To book your place or to have a chat about the programme, please call Ranjana or Debbie at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999. 

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FREE dementia-friendly talks in May

The Alzheimer's Society initiative, Dementia Friends, is holding a FREE dementia-friendly talk on the History of the Music Hall on Monday 15th May from 11am-12pm at Oadby Library and on Thursday 18th May from 11am-12pm at Wigston Library. Simply go along to enjoy the free talk, together with songs and coffee - as part of Dementia Awareness Week

To find out more about the Oadby Library talk please call 0116 305 8763.

To find out more about the Wigston Library talk please call 0116 305 3689.

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Fancy a night out with a difference?

Enjoy a night out with a difference and help raise money for the charity behind Support for Carers - VASL

Read the full story


Blaby District Council Community Volunteer Week 12th - 16th June

Originally set up to coincide with national Volunteers’ Week, Community Volunteer Week is an opportunity for staff from Blaby District Council, local businesses and partner organisations to give their time and make a positive difference to the local community.

What could they do for your organisation?

Blaby District Council are looking for a range of different volunteer opportunities—big or small—that staff could take part in during Community Volunteer Week. Whether you need one volunteer for a few hours or a team of 30 volunteers over two days, they want to hear from you.

For example, do you need...

Help to run your lunch club or day centre?

Help to clear up your community venue?

Help to answer the telephones or with admin?

Help to tidy up a community garden?

Help at a community event?

Help to run an after school or lunch club?

Help for children with reading in a school?

Help to develop a plan or policy?

Help with marketing or promotional activities?

Help with fundraising activities?

All suggestions welcome!

Blaby District Council want to hear from not-for-profit organisations or groups that help residents of Blaby District.

If your organisation could benefit from some extra volunteers during Community Volunteer Week, please submit your proposal on the form provided to the Partnerships & Community Development Team at Blaby District Council by Friday 28th April 2017 by email to [email protected] or by post to Blaby District Council, Desford Road, Narborough LE19 2EP.  

Call 0116 2727566 to find out more or download the flyer. 

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Do you live in or near LE9?

If you're a carer in LE9 why not go along to the Barwell Time Out for Carers group to meet other carers for a cuppa and a chat? The group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at Barwell Community House, LE9 8FB from 7pm to 8.30pm. 

To find out more call Kerry Smith on 07947 949721.

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Carers Health & Wellbeing Event

The Carers Centre has a Health & Wellbeing event for carers coming up on 20th May including lots of information and advice on staying healthy plus a free lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Find out more 

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Do you care for someone with dementia and live near Syston?

The Alzheimer's Society's Carer Information and Support Programme is a series of workshops run over four sessions for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It provides an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidential environment about your experiences and the impact they are having on you. 

The workshops aim to provide you with information and support.

Topics will include:

What is dementia?
How can you support and care for someone with dementia?
The support services that are available
Planning for the future

Syston, Leicestershire

Course Dates 

Session 1: Wednesday 10th May 
Session 2: Wednesday 17th May
Session 3: Wednesday 24th May
Session 4: Wednesday 31st May 

All sessions will run from 10am - 12.30pm 

Venue: Syston Community Centre (Jubilee Room), School Street, Syston, Leicestershire, LE7 1HN.

Who will be there?

The workshops are run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. Please aim to attend all sessions if possible. If you are unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available.

To find out more or book a place contact Sara Lovett

Call: 0116 231 1111 / 07483 926083

Email: [email protected]              

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Carers Event - 12th April

Carers and cared for are welcome to come along to our Top to Toe event on Wednesday 12th April from 11am-2.30pm at Glen Gorse Golf Club, Glen Road, Oadby, Leicestershire, LE2 4RF including a FREE lunch, refresments and parking. The day will include useful talks, the chance to pick up lots of handy information, a dance group and Bollywood dancing. Plus lots more! 

To book your place please call Support for Carers on 0845 689 9510 or email [email protected] 

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Catch up on our latest news

Catch up on the latest news for carers in our newsletter - hot off the press. Inside this issue, you’ll find lots of information and advice for carers including details of our Top to Toe event for carers on 12th April, the chance to meet our two new team members, Adele and Natasha, a guide to planning for emergencies and a celebration of that little treat many of us couldn’t do without - a nice cup of tea! 

Read our newsletter 

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Free event: Bridging the Years

Leicestershire Older People's Engagement Network is hosting a free event called Bridging the Years on Saturday 18 March from 9.15am to 12.15pm at Leicestershire Police Headquarters, Training Block, Enderby, Leicester, LE19 2BX. The free event is open to everyone 12 years and over to celebrate intergenerational partnerships and get involved in a day of workshops and fun activities including Safety Online, Working and Learning Together, Reaching Out to Each Other, Having Fun Together, Arts and Crafts, Laughter Yoga, Sikh Music and Bollyfit. 

Places are limited and must be booked in advance by Thursday 23 February by contacting Lucy Smith: 

Email: [email protected]
Call: 0116 277 6529
Download the flyer

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

Newcastle University is launching a free online course for carers called 'Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well' designed to help you stay connected to loved ones, manage stress at home and defuse difficult situations. The 3 week course starts on 27th March and is free to join. It's designed specifically for family, friends and carers of people with dementia. 

Download the flyer to find out more 

Sign up online to book your free place 

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Urgent Appeal for Funding

URGENT APPEAL FOR FUNDING: CARERS HEALTH AND WELLBEING SERVICE 

Following the announcement that the Leicestershire Better Care Together Fund are unable to extend funding for the Carers Health and Wellbeing Service, it is with great sadness and deep regret that we must confirm the service will cease to operate with effect from 30 April 2017, unless alternative funds are identified.

We acknowledge that difficult decisions have had to be made by the Better Care Together Board and, even though the service was highly credited and very much needed, there were other services that had to be prioritised over the Carers Health and Wellbeing Service.

Such has been the tremendous success of the Carers Health & Wellbeing Service, VASL is appealing direct to you, the GP practices (either independently or within Federations), for assistance in identifying any potential funding opportunities to support continuation of this highly effective and efficient resource.

We are in the process of producing costings for the service which will provide the opportunity to tailor services to your needs. It is acknowledged that Carers can cope longer within their caring role in the community as long as they have the right support in place.

Nationally our carers save the economy £119 BILLION a year. The Carers Health and Wellbeing Service cost £165,000 per annum providing support to carers across Leicestershire. We have identified and supported 1,200 carers during the 21 months we have been in operation. Our small team has made great partnerships with GP practices across Leicestershire.

We know how important it is that we are able to give our Carers time and support in a confidential environment. As part of this, we are running 24 Carers Clinics across the county, and an additional 8 surgeries were hoping to offer this facility in their own practices. Our Carers Clinics operating in GP Practices offer carers one-to-one support with hour long appointments. Feedback has evidenced that valuable GP time is protected by Carers Clinics and advice being offered at the right time - as we know, sadly, many carers can become depressed and/or experience numerous other health related ailments that are triggered by their caring role.

If you would like to contact me directly regarding any opportunities for the funding service or have any questions, I would be very happy to hear from you. We would like to personally thank you for all your support and would be very grateful if you could circulate this article to all clinical staff in your Practice.

Thank you in anticipation.  

Kind regards. 

Maureen O'Malley
VASL Senior Manager
01858 439267
[email protected] 

*Carers in this article are defined as non-professional carers who selflessly and regularly look after a family member, friend or neighbour. 

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Meet our two new team members!

We've recently been joined by two new members of the team...

Natasha Mack, Delivery Officer

Natasha has lived in Leicester for three years after moving from Brighton where she studied for a degree in Outdoor Education. Originally from London, Tash has a varied background from volunteering in Lesotho, Africa; to studying social work; and working with young people in a variety of settings. These experiences have allowed Tash to develop a range of interests including social care, volunteering and adventurous activities.

Adele, Delivery Officer 

Over the last 15 years, Adele has worked within statutory and voluntary sector agencies in a variety of roles. Adele says: “My roles have provided me with a vast insight into the everyday difficulties carers and the cared for experience and, the importance of personalised support to meet the needs of everyone holistically."

Meet the rest of the team and find out more about us 

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Do you care for someone with dementia and live near Hinckley?

Why not attend the Alzheimer's Society's Carer Information and Support Programme for information and support? The programme is a series of workshops run over four sessions for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It provides an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidential environment about your experiences and the impact they're having on you.

Topics will include:

What is dementia?
How can you support and care for someone with dementia?
The support services that are available
Planning for the future

Course dates: 

Session 1: Monday 6th February
Session 2: Monday 13th February
Session 3: Monday 20th February
Session 4: Monday 27th February

All sessions will run between 10am - 12:30pm at St Francis Community Centre, Tudor Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 0EQ.

Who will be there?

The workshops are run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. Please aim to attend all sessions if possible. If you're unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available.

To find out more or to book a place please call Sara Lovett on 0116 231 1111 / 07483 926083 or email [email protected]

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Do you care for someone with dementia and live near Oakham?

Why not attend the Alzheimer's Society's Carer Information and Support Programme for information and support? The programme is a series of workshops run over four sessions for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It provides an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidential environment about your experiences and the impact they're having on you.

Topics will include:

What is dementia?
How can you support and care for someone with dementia?
The support services that are available
Planning for the future

Course Dates:    

Session 1: Friday 10th February
Session 2: Friday 17th February
Session 3: Friday 24th February
Session 4: Friday 3rd March  

All sessions will run between 1:30pm-4.30pm at Voluntary Action Rutland, Lands End Way, Oakham, LE15 6RB.

Who will be there?

The workshops are run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. Please aim to attend all sessions if possible. If you're unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available.

To find out more or to book a place call Sara Lovett on 0116 231 1111 / 07483 926083 or email [email protected]              

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Our Carers Choir in action!

Here are some brilliant pictures from our Carers Choir Christmas Concert in December. Everyone had a great time, including one of the founding members of the choir who moved to Greece a few months ago - we were able to link her up live to the concert, so she could see everyone and join in! 

We're fundraising to keep the choir running at the moment so if there's anything you can do to help or you know someone who could: 

Please text SING13 £3 to 70070 or have a look online via justgiving.com 

Many thanks for your support!

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Help to get online

Does the internet scare you? Do you want to know more?

We're here to support carers on a one to one basis or in a group setting to learn how to:

* Carry out basic computer tasks

* Send e-mails

* Securely look at websites

* Facebook, Skype, Facetime

* Access a range of information

* Internet Shopping

* Useful Applications

… and many more things!

You don’t need big fancy computers, this can all be done on a tablet, smart phone or laptop computer.

Please call us on 0845 689 9510 to find out more. 

(Calls are charged at local rates, unless from a mobile)

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Are you affected by harmful behaviour?

The University of Birmingham is running a project aimed at family carers affected by harmful behaviour. They are investigating the experience of family carers who are affected by violent, abusive or harmful behaviour by the older person for whom they care. They are not examining the causes of illness or seeking to investigate or hold any older person ‘responsible’ for behaviour which may have developed during illness and disease. Rather, they are examining the impact of living with this behaviour on the part of family carers. They aim to raise awareness of this sensitive and hidden issue to develop understanding about the needs of carers and those they care for.

Who can take part?

The University of Birmingham is looking for adults who are carers or ex-carers for an older family member and have experience of abusive, violent or harmful behaviour when caring.

Background to the project 

There is limited evidence about how family carers are affected by violent, abusive and harmful behaviour from the older people for whom they care. What research exists suggests that this problem is likely to have a big impact on family carers’ health and well-being. Experiencing and coping with harmful behaviour within the family home or within a relationship of long-term caring may increase people’s feelings of being trapped, controlled and unable to bring about change. Feelings of loyalty and duty may also contribute to a feeling that harmful behaviour should be tolerated; perhaps until the caring relationship ends or breaks down. Wanting to protect and care for an older family member may inhibit carers sharing their experiences and asking for help. Similarly, a lack of public awareness about the issue may make it hard to explain and explore, which in turn contributes to the problem remaining hidden. This research aims to explore the impact of harmful behaviour on carers to raise awareness, contribute to a limited evidence base and to plan support for affected families.

What would be involved?

The University would arrange a time and private place to meet. This could be your home, the University or a public but private space (e.g. a room in a health clinic or community centre). They will arrange a time that is convenient with you. The aim of the interview is to understand your experiences and the University is interested in hearing anything that you wish to discuss. (Travel expenses will be reimbursed). 

They will ask some questions about your experience of caring and your relationship with the person you care for. They will also ask about how you manage difficult situations and what you have found difficult or helpful in talking to people or accessing support.

Interviews usually last between 45 and 60 minutes. However, you can stop the interview at any time or change your mind about taking part up to and during the interview. After the interview, you can contact the University within a month period to withdraw your interview from the study. Taking part in the project is entirely voluntary.

The University will record the interview to help them to have an accurate record of what you say. This will be kept entirely confidential and within the University. You can have a copy of what you talk about after the interview.

The University will keep in touch with you about the project after the interview. You will receive a summary of the findings of the project and how they are being shared and taken up. You can contact the University to discuss any aspect of your involvement throughout the project. You can also make clear if you don’t want to stay in contact or to receive this information. Information about the project’s progress and findings will also be regularly posted on the project website (www.carershiddenharm.com).

If you don’t want to take part in an interview but would like to share your views, please get in touch with the University. They are keen to hear about your experiences and want to support you to do this in whatever feels the most comfortable way. This could involve, for example: talking on the phone, communicating by letter or email, or with the help of someone that you know and trust.

Confidentiality

The interview and any other discussions or correspondence that you have will be kept confidential. Your name and any information that is personal to you will be changed to protect your identity. All information will be stored in a secure place at the University.

If the University is seriously concerned about your immediate safety or well-being, or seriously concerned about the immediate safety and well-being of a child or adult, then they may need to share this information. They would tell you about their concerns. If you are unable to do so, they will share these concerns on your behalf.

Ethical approval

The project has ethical approval from the University of Birmingham’s ethics committee.

Who's involved in the project?

A small research team at the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham. The College is funding the project. Louise Isham is the PhD researcher on the project and is a qualified social worker with practice experience. Dr Caroline Bradbury Jones and Dr Alistair Hewison lead the project. They are both experienced academics with significant expertise and a track-record of carrying out research on sensitive topics. They are also both qualified nurses.

Doctoral researcher: Louise Isham
Contact details: [email protected]
07861 657717

Co-supervisor: Dr Caroline Bradbury-Jones
Contact: [email protected]
0121 414 3951

Co-supervisor: Dr Alistair Hewison
Contact: [email protected]
0121 414 3951

Find out more 

To find out more about the project and the research team, please contact Professor Fiona Irvine, Department of Nursing, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham at [email protected] or call 0121 415 8519.

Visit the project website

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Sainsbury’s supporting carers

Thank you to Sainsbury's Market Harborough for kindly donating items for the Market Harborough Christmas party and Carers Choir concert - pictured below are Jackie Williamson from Support for Carers and Mel from Sainsbury's Market Harborough. 

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Happy Art - Meditative artistic sessions at Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation

As a registered charity the Shuttlewood Clarke Foundation prides itself on offering a welcoming, supportive setting for those living in the local community and throughout Leicestershire. A new monthly taster session ‘Happy Art’ will encourage attendees to release the stresses of everyday life and strengthen one’s own ability to combat negative thought patterns. The meditative artist led sessions will promote wellbeing, through the exploration of mindfulness and painting. 

Helen Baxter, Activities coordinator at the Foundation, said:

"The sessions will take place in our new Activity Centre, a safe and inclusive space for individuals to discover new talents and learn new skills."

Session leader Rosanna Monachello added:

"The arts help to engage the brain in to the perfect state for learning by placing the individual into a state of relaxation, clearing and creativity. This is not art as you know it. This is art to help clear the soul of its burden and release the misunderstood and unseen." 

Taster sessions will run throughout January on Tuesday 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st from 10.30am – 12.30pm at Ulverscroft Activity Centre, Priory Lane, Ulverscroft, Leicestershire LE67 9PH. Booking is essential and a non-refundable payment of £4 per session in advance is required to secure your place.

Find out more 

For more information and to book a place, please contact Activities Coordinator Helen Baxter:

01530 244914
[email protected]

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Support services from Country Paths

Country Paths is a support service for adults with additional needs. They have been running for nearly four years and are based in the village of Great Dalby (3 miles from Melton Mowbray) offering active day services to able-bodied older adults and adults with mild to moderate Learning Disabilities. Co-director, Sally Radford, has 12 years' experience working in this field and co-director, Mandy Allen, has over 20 years' experience.

Country Paths have also launched a new day service from 9.30am-4pm on Wednesdays to support people with early onset dementia.

Find out more

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Vote now to help our Carers Choir keep running

We're trying to raise funding for our Carers Choir by taking part in the AVIVA Community Fund.  Simply click here and you can vote for us up to 10 times. 

We're so proud of our choir and determined to carry it on.  It would be a tremendous help to us if you could vote for us, and pass this message on to anyone else you think would like to support us. Each time we meet up, we have to pay for the rehearsal room, the choir leader, a carer support worker, the tea and coffee etc.  It costs around £175 a session.

Our Carers Choir meets every two weeks to learn contemporary upbeat songs in four part harmony under the leadership of a musical director and a carers support worker.

Support for Carers supports over 4,200 unpaid carers. Carers have lives, too. They have a right to an identity outside of their caring role; to work, study, socialise and enjoy life. Too often the life of a carer is one of service, isolation and depression.The choir gives carers a focus outside of their caring responsibilities. We want to continue to boost carers' confidence, self-esteem, wellbeing and fun. Singing is a wonderful mood-boosting tool with proven physiological benefits.

The choir gives carers the opportunity to learn a new skill and to meet other carers, not in a carer-focused setting, but in a fun and safe environment. They can meet like-minded individuals which also provides peer support and new friends to get together with outside of the choir.

Please vote to help our choir keep running

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Dementia carer in Leicester?

Do you care for someone with dementia? Why not attend the Alzheimer's Society's carer workshops for information and support?

What is the Carer Information and Support Programme?

The Carer Information and Support Programme is a series of workshops run over 4 sessions for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It provides an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidential environment about your experiences and the impact they are having on you.

The workshops aim to provide you with information and support. Topics will include:

- What is dementia?

- How can you support and care for someone with dementia

- The support services that are available

- Planning for the future

When and where? 

Wednesday 30th November 2016 - Understanding Dementia: 2pm-4:30pm

Wednesday 7th December 2016 - Legal and Money Matters: 2pm-4:30pm

Wednesday 14th December 2016 - Providing Support and Care: 10:30am-1pm

Wednesday 21st December 2016 - Coping Day to Day: 2pm-4:30pm

Venue: The Bradgate Melntal Health Unit (The recreation room), Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester, LE3 9EJ

Parking is available.

Who will be there?

The workshops are run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. If you are unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available.

To find out more or to book a place contact Sara Lovett:

Call: 0116 231 1111

Email: [email protected]

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Dementia carer in North West Leicestershire?

Do you care for someone with dementia? Why not attend the Alzheimer's Society's carer workshops for information and support?

What is the Carer Information and Support Programme?

The Carer Information and Support Programme is a series of workshops run over 4 sessions for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It provides an opportunity for you to talk in a friendly and confidential environment about your experiences and the impact they are having on you.

The workshops aim to provide you with information and support. Topics will include:

- What is dementia?

- How can you support and care for someone with dementia

- The support services that are available

- Planning for the future

Where and When? 

Session 1 - Wednesday 2nd November 2016

Session 2 - Wednesday 9th November 2016

Session 3 - Wednesday 16th November 2016

Session 4 - Wednesday 23rd November 2016

All sessions will run between 1:30pm - 4pm.

Venue: The Marlene Reid Centre, 85 Belvoir Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3PH

Who will be there?

The workshops are run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia. Please aim to attend all sessions if possible. If you are unable to attend the above dates/times, please register your interest as future groups may be available.

To find out more or to book a place

Call: 0116 231 1111

Email: [email protected]

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Are you a young carer aged 11-19? Have your say!

Leicestershire County Council wants to hear from young people aged 11-19 who either care for a parent or another family member.

Your feedback will be used to improve the support and advice available from schools, GPs, councils and others organisations, and to gain a more comprehensive picture of the number of young carers across the county.

Find out more 

Complete the survey

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FREE Carers Walk - every other Wednesday

Join Active Together Harborough every other Wednesday in Welland Park for a FREE walk aimed at Carers and Care Receivers. 

The walk is suitable for all ages and abilities, wheelchair friendly, and led by a qualified walk leader. Each walk will last around 30 minutes. 

Where and when?

Meet at Welland Park Cafe every other Wednesday at 11am. 

The next walks are on 2nd November, 16th November, 30th November and 14th December. 

To find out more: 

Call the Active Together Team on 01858 82 82 82
Email [email protected]

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We’re moving!

Just to let you all know, VASL and the Support for Carers team are moving on 10th October to 1st Floor, Torch House, Torch Way, Northampton Road, Market Harborough, LE16 9HL. 

All of our email addresses and phone numbers will thankfully stay the same - so our move won't change our service to you in any way. 

If you'd like to pop in and see us head for the Leisure Centre off Northampton Road, turn left as if going to Two Shires Surgery, and you'll find Torch House a little further down the road. 

Torch House is an ideal new home for us and the rest of the VASL team, as it's close to the town centre and other well known organisations and large enough for us to hold events here.

Many thanks, 

The Support for Carers Team 

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Has your life been touched by dementia?

Book your FREE place at the House of Memories dementia awareness for family carers' workshop on Wednesday 2nd November from 9.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, LE1 7EA.

The workshop is open to carers, family members, friends and community volunteers to help you support you and your loved ones. The aim of the workshop is to help you understand the experience of living with dementia and being a carer - through video stories and the chance to try out the My House of Memories app and take part in dementia-friendly museum activities. The event has been funded by the Department of Health in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and Leicester City Council. 

Find out more online

To book please email [email protected] or call 0151 478 4240 with your contact details and preferred time.

View the poster online 

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Are you a dementia carer in Lutterworth?

The Lutterworth Share & Care Group (LSCG) are running lots of activities and events for people living with dementia and their carers this autumn including Memory Walks, Coffee Drop-ins, Share & Care trips, Christmas Dinner and the chance to see the Buddy Holly Story at the Derngate Theatre in Northampton. 

Click here for full details of events/activities coming soon 

The Share & Care Group is a social support group for people living with dementia, together with their carers, who live in Lutterworth and the surrounding villages. Meetings are run by professionals and volunteers who are trained to help those suffering from dementia cope better with their condition. 

To find out more call Sarah Taylor on 07741 417243.

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Our autumn newsletter is out!

Why not put your feet up for five minutes and take a look at our latest newsletter, packed full of news and information for carers, including a round up of all our Carers' Support Groups, top tips to help you look after your mental health and a wonderfully inspiring story from one of our carers on her plans for a carers' community garden...

Click here to read our newsletter in full 

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Community Life Choices - have your say!

Leicestershire County Council has said it's facing its biggest ever financial challenge with the authority having to consider savings in all areas. Have your say on proposed changes to Community Life Choices.

The Council has launched a consultation to seek feedback on proposed changes to Community Life Choices.

The consultation will run until midnight on 4th September 2016.

Community Life Choices are better known as day services, and provide a safe and supported place for people in Leicestershire with health needs such as learning difficulties, physical disabilities and mental illness.

The Council currently spends £7.7 million on Community Life Choices and are proposing to make reductions of £500,000 in 2017/18, rising to £750,000 in 2018/19, a saving of 9%.

In order to respond to this the Council needs to explore how they can provide a more efficient service, while minimising the impact on service users and their families.

The consultation will run until midnight on 4th September 2016, with the findings reported back to the Council’s ruling cabinet in Autumn 2016.

To submit your views, please read the summary document provided, then continue to the online questionnaire to provide your feedback. 

Paper copies of the survey are available on request by calling 0116 305 0232 or if you currently receive Community Life Choices your service provider will be able to give you a copy.

If you need help to complete the questionnaire or have any questions about the consultation, please call 0116 305 0232 or email [email protected]

Find out more

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Thrummy Drummers Dementia Social and Support Group

Do you care for someone with dementia and live in Charnwood or Melton? 

THRUMMY DRUMMERS Dementia Social and Support Group meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Elizabeth Park Sports & Community Centre, Thurmaston, Leicester LE4 8FN.

The group extends a very warm welcome to all who are affected by dementia, including families and carers. They said:

"We're a friendly group and our sessions include socialising, music-related entertainment and refreshments."

To find out more:

Call Jane on 077 541 09798

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NHS seeks views on fairer, sustainable funding for Continuing Healthcare

Patients receiving NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding and their carers and families are being urged to give their views on making funding fairer and sustainable for all eligible patients across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) – East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, Leicester City CCG and West Leicestershire CCG – who plan and pay for local healthcare services, are reviewing the current ‘Settings of Care’ policy.

This is the policy that determines how and when CCGs will support individual choice of care setting (e.g. care at home, in a care home or elsewhere) for people receiving CHC funding. It also guides the level of funding for providing care in that setting and includes criteria which ensure individual circumstances are taken into account.

The existing policy has been in place since 2011. It pre-dates recent developments such as Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) which provide an amount of money to individuals with identified health and wellbeing needs to support care. The care is planned and agreed between individuals, families and their local NHS team.

The CCGs in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland want to ensure the refreshed policy takes into account the introduction of PHBs and that it enables:

There are currently over 1,300 people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland who receive NHS Continuing Healthcare funding. On an annual basis in LLR we spend more on CHC funding than the majority of other areas across England, spending over £73.5million in 2015/16.

At a time when pressures on the NHS have never been greater with an ageing population and a significant increase in the number of people who need CHC funding, the CCGs have a duty to ensure that services are clinically and financially sustainable and that everyone who is eligible has access to appropriate care. We will be taking these things into account as we review the policy. 

The CCGs have written to all patients receiving CHC funding to make them aware of their opportunity to give their views and to influence the refresh of the existing policy. Formal public consultation may follow if significant changes are proposed.

Dr Hilary Fox, local GP and Governing Body member of East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG, the lead commissioners for continuing healthcare in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said:

“It’s important that everyone who is eligible for NHS continuing healthcare benefits from the highest quality of care and has equal access to funding both now and in the future. With the introduction of Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) and the challenges posed by increasing numbers of people needing NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, we need to look carefully at the local policy to ensure it balances personal choice with available funding and equitable care for all.

“Changes to this policy could mean changes to the care people receive in future so we urge everyone currently receiving funding, their families and their carers to take time to complete our survey and share their views. We must stress however, that no changes have yet been made and that we are committed to taking into account public views. Once the policy has been refreshed and approved, any changes would be applied at patients’ next annual review or, in the case of new patients, at the point people are determined eligible for Continuing Healthcare funding.”

In addition to writing to all patients this could affect, CCGs are also holding an event to enable them to find out more and to ask questions.  Anyone with concerns or queries in the meantime can also contact CCGs on 0116 295 3405 or via email at [email protected]

Patients who receive packages of care funded by the Local Authority will not be affected by the Settings of Care policy review.

The closing date for the survey is Wednesday 27 July.

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Do you care for an adult with a learning disability?

Are you a family carer of an adult who has a learning disability living in Leicestershire?

The Leicestershire Learning Disabilities Partnership Board Family Carers Sub Group, facilitated by the Carers Centre, know that family carers in general can be very busy people who have very little “me” time, but they're urging you to join the group for help and support. They say:

"Family carers of a person who has a learning disability have often had 18+ years of caring before the person they care for becomes an adult and requires adult services to support them. Once the person who has a learning disability becomes an adult we know that some carers can be caring for an additional 40+ years.

There have been many changes happening both locally and nationally over the last few years which have affected family carers and people who have a learning disability.

It is hard to become involved in a group when there are so many caring responsibilities. It can feel that there is very little time for anything else. But, one of the difficulties of not becoming involved is that it is easy to feel isolated and it can feel that things are happening to you, rather than with you.

Below are some details about our group. Even if you joined our group we cannot promise that we can stop some of these things happening, but as a group it is easier to raise issues and concerns about what is affecting family carers and people who have a learning disability.

We are all family carers of an adult who has a learning disability. The sub-group is part of the Leicestershire Learning Disabilities Partnership Board. The Family Carers group’s role is to raise awareness of issues affecting carers of adults and young people in transitions who have a learning disability to the Leicestershire Learning Disability Partnership Board and where appropriate, other relevant services.

We normally meet on the first Monday of the month, although this occasionally has to change due to bank holidays or unforeseen circumstances.

We arrange our meetings so that one month we have a business meeting where we can raise issues that affect family carers of adults or young people in transitions who have a learning disability in Leicestershire, and the following month we have speakers to update us on what is happening locally.

We meet at Leicestershire County Council, County Hall, Glenfield from 10am to 12:30pm. If you go to reception they will tell you which room we will be in.

If you would like to become involved please contact Gill on 0116 2510999 and she will be able to tell you when we will next be meeting and what we will be covering at the next meeting."

Find out more

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The importance of First Aid - Kim’s story

Kim Spencer attends our Carers Support Group in Lougborough and she came along to some First Aid sessions we'd arranged for the group, through St John's Ambulance

Just a couple of weeks later, Kim was called upon to put her First Aid skills into use, not once, but twice, as she explains: 

"I was walking my dog over Beacon Hill in Loughborough, on a bitterly cold and drizzly day. Suddenly, I heard a cry for help. I looked over at the rocks to my right and saw a lady lying there. I rushed over and realised she was lying awkwardly on her back with her head pointing downhill. She was conscious but obviously in pain. 

I decided to call for an ambulance. Two weeks before, I'd attended a First Aid session through Support for Carers and was told you can also dial '112' to get through to the emergency services, as well as '999' ('112' is the pan-European number for the Emergency Services across EU countries). I dialled '999' and was asked for our location, which was really difficult to explain as we were in a country park and even though I walk my dog there twice a week, I couldn't think of the names of the roads leading to the car parks. I could only think to tell the operator that the car park was opposite the Charnwood Forest Golf Club. Also, as there are numerous tracks that can be taken from the car park, I described my car to her and told her that it was facing the track I had taken. I also mentioned that there are two aluminium gates along the track that are normally locked, so they would need to get through them with the ambulance. 

In the meantime, I tried to help the lady.  She said she had fallen from the rocks and, as she was in an awkward position, I decided not to move her. Her hands were grazed a little and she was cold. I used my coat to wrap around her. It was the only thing I had to keep her warm. 

I asked her what her name was, but she couldn’t remember, and I was worried she may have a brain injury. She said she wanted to get up, so she could fetch her children from school, but I tried to keep her calm by talking to her. 

Her mobile phone rang and I asked if I could get it out of her handbag. It was her husband wondering where she was. I explained what had happened and he said he would come as soon as possible.

The operator stayed on the phone with me for 45 minutes until the ambulance finally arrived. They had trouble getting through the gates as I had predicted. Fortunately, there was a man who works from a hut in the woods, who had a key to the gates. 

I was so relieved to see the ambulance crew.  Soon after, her husband arrived too. As everything was then under control, I left the scene.

I rang her husband the following day to see how she was and he told me that a helicopter had air-lifted her to hospital.  Apparently, she had an object embedded in her side and had to have it surgically removed. I haven’t heard anything since.

A few weeks later, I was driving towards Woodgate, in Bedford Square, Loughborough, when I saw 2 old ladies crossing the road in front of me. They were taking a long time, so I decided to stop to let them cross. One of the ladies was pushing a shopping trolley frame; she tilted the trolley to get it up the kerb, but then suddenly toppled over onto the road.

I got out of my car to help.  I remembered what I had been taught at the First Aid session about the ‘DR ABC’ checks, so I quickly went through them.  As it happened, the lady had fallen almost in ‘the recovery position’, so there was no need to move her. She was conscious and breathing. I felt relieved at the situation so far, but then was horrified to see blood on the road which was coming from her head! By this time, a crowd started to appear and a passing taxi driver called for the ambulance. I was so grateful that other people were there to help me.

A girl came over from a nearby laundrette and a man appeared with a First Aid kit. We managed to put pressure on the wound, and then more ladies arrived with blankets from the laundrette to wrap around her to keep her warm. Then, fortunately, the lady’s son and daughter arrived. It turned out that the lady was 95 years old and lived in the nearby care home. I don’t know why she was out walking in town as she was wearing slippers; she had dementia and was also deaf. Her daughter said the head wound was probably an old wound that had opened up. Apparently, she had a history of falls.

A paramedic arrived shortly afterwards, followed by the ambulance, 30 minutes later, at which time I left the scene.

I have heard nothing about the incident since, so I don’t know what happened to her."

If you'd like to find out more about learning First Aid please call us on 0845 689 9510 (calls charged at local rates) or email [email protected]

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

The Alzheimer's Society is running The Carer Information and Support Programme at venues around Leicestershire, to give carers support and information on caring for someone with dementia.

The Programme includes a series of workshops run over four sessions - for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia. It will give you an oppotunity to talk about your experiences and the impact they're having on you, in a friendly and confidential environment.           

Topics will include: 

The workshops are run by Alzheimer's Society staff and volunteers. Please aim to attend all sessions if possible. If you're unable to attend the dates/times below, please register your interest as future groups may be available.  

Hinckley Course Dates  

All sessions will run from 1.30pm-4pm 

Session 1 - Tuesday 7th June
Session 2 - Tuesday 14th June
Session 3 - Tuesday 21st June
Session 4 - Tuesday 28th June 

Venue: The Pathways Centre, Hinckley Baptist Church, Baptist Walk, Hinckley, LE10 1PR. 

Lutterworth Course Dates 

All sessions will run from 1.30pm-4pm 

Session 1 - Monday 4th July 
Session 2 - Monday 11th July 
Session 3 - Monday 18th July
Session 4 - Monday 25th July 

Venue: The Wycliffe Medical Practice, Lutterworth Medical Centre (The Community Room), Gilmorton Road, Lutterworth, LE17 4EB. 

Leicester City Course Dates

All sessions will run from 6pm-8.30pm. 

Session 1 - Thursday 7th July 
Session 2 - Thursday 14th July
Session 3 - Thursday 21st July
Session 4 - Thursday 28th July

Venue: Moat Community College (Joseph Merrick Building), Maidstone Road, Leicester, LE2 0TU. 

Melton Course Dates 

All sessions will run from 10am-12.30pm

Tuesday 2nd August - Understanding Dementia
Tuesday 9th August - Legal and Money Matters
Tuesday 16th August - Providing Support and Care
Tuesday 23rd August - Carers: Coping Day to Day

Venue: Melton Borough Council, Egerton Room 1 & 2, Parkside, Station Approach, Burton Street, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1GH.                      

To find out more and book your place: 

Call: 0116 231 1111
Email: [email protected]

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Vista Mobile Support Service touring Leicestershire

Vista's Mobile Support Service is visiting Leicestershire throughout the summer - giving information, advice and support about eye health, preventing sight loss, visual impairment and Vista services. 

Click for full details

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Carer in Barwell?

Carer in Barwell? Help shape a new carers' support group meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of every month...

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‘Time Out for Carers’ Barwell Support Group - meeting 7th June

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Support for Carers Leicestershire is funded by Leicestershire County Council. However, we rely on donations to enhance the services we provide for carers in the area. If you would like to support us please contact us.