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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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100 Best Blogs for Disabled People and Carers

Would you like to read some truly inspiring personal stories and insightful, practical articles about disability and getting older? Stairlifts Reviews got in touch with us recently to share their 100 Best Blogs for Disabled People and Carers...we've had a peek and there are some brilliant blogs on the list - why not take a look for yourself?

Read more 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Carers Health and Wellbeing Service praised by NHS health chiefs

Our Carers Health and Wellbeing Service has been highlighted in a new NHS report as a good example of an organisation working closely with GPs to provide backing for carers - the often unsung heroes. 

The service is backed by Leicestershire County Council, along with health partners, and involves wellbeing workers from Voluntary Action South Leicestershire (VASL) linking up with the GPs to offer advice and support to carers. 

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Carers’ Month - What’s On Guide

June is Carers' Month in Leicestershire and there are all kinds of events coming up for you to enjoy. To find out more about any of the events below please call 0845 689 9510 (calls charged at local rates) or email [email protected]

Leicestershire Carers Month coincides with national Carers Week, which runs from 6th-12th June. 

2nd June:
First Aid course and cakes at Coalville Carers Support Group

6th June
Information Stand at Barwell Medical Centre 

7th June
Information Stand at Hollycroft Medical Centre 

8th June: 
Cakes at Harborough Carers Mental Health Support Group 

9th June
Stand outside Sainsbury's Market Harborough with Bollywood dancing from 11am
First Aid course and cakes at Melton Carers Support Group
Self-care/looking after yourself and cakes at Oadby & Wigston Carers Support Group 
Information Stand at Barwell Medical Centre 

10th June
Carers' stand at LGBT Conference at County Hall 
Information Stand at Thurmaston Health Centre, Hollycroft Medical Centre and Market Harborough Medical Centre 

11th June
Market Harborough Carnival 

12th June
Carers' Choir singing at Lutterworth Picnic in the Park from 5.30pm  

14th June
Blaby District Carers Group (now in Whetstone) summer garden party (indoors!) with cream teas, mini manicures, hand massages and relaxing summer music

16th June
Day at Wycliffe/Masharani 

21st June
Self-care/looking after yourself and cakes at Hinckley Carers Support Group

23rd June
Self-care/looking after yourself with music and cakes at Market Harborough Carers Support Group 

27th June
Alternative therapies and cakes at Loughborough Carers Support Group 

28th June
Cakes, hand massages and plant exchange at Bottesford Carers Support Group

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New ‘Time Out for Carers Group’ starts in Barwell

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FREE training for carers

The Carers Centre runs regular sessions to provide carers with information and advice on a variety of topics. You're also welcome to suggest ideas for future topics. 

All sessions are FREE and will be held in the Meeting Room at The Carers Centre, Unit 19, Matrix House, Constitution Hill, Leicester.

These sessions start at 10am and run for up to 3 hours. The Carers Centre will look at running later sessions, depending on interest. 

To find out more or to book a place please call Debbie or Satwant  on 0116 2510999 or email [email protected]

Find out more

Download more information

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The Carers Centre - 25th Birthday Bash

Congratulations to The Carers Centre on your 25th Birthday Bash! 

Find out more

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Feel Good Friday! 20th May

Join Active Together for Feel Good Friday! on 20th May in The Symington Building, Market Harborough and learn more about positive mental health. All activities are free.

Mindfulness 

Be introduced to Mindfulness and see how you can engage directly with an experience without the influence of thoughts and emotions.
9:30am-10:30am
&
11am-12pm
Booking necessary 

Learn more about Dementia and the small ways that you can help, and become a Dementia Friend.
1pm-2pm
Booking necessary 

Mid Day Walk 

Join Active Together for a short walk. All abilities welcome.
Meet at 12.15pm outside the Symington Building.
No need to book. 

Cake & Colour 

Pop in for a cuppa, some cake and enjoy some colouring in. Colouring isn’t just for kids you know!
11:30am - 3:30pm
No need to book. 

Yoga 

Beginners yoga taster session.
2.15pm-3.15pm
Booking necessary 

For more info and to book, please call Active Together on 01858 82 82 82 or email [email protected]

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Care for someone with concerns about balance & mobility?

A rejuvenating weekly exercise programme for anyone aged 65+ with concerns about their balance and mobility, or who feel unsteady on their feet, starts around Leicestershire from 16th May - with the aim of helping to develop strength and balance. 

Sessions will run weekly at the following venues and times: 

The Training Shed
Market Harborough
Mondays from 11am-12:30pm 

Village Hall
Broughton Astley
Tuesdays from 11am-12:30pm 

Wycliffe Rooms
Lutterworth
Tuesdays from 1:30pm-3pm 

All sessions start week beginning 16th May 2016. 

Booking is essential and small charges apply. 

For more info and to book please call Vanessa Freeth on 07764968544 or email [email protected]

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Do you care for someone with heart failure?

Researchers at De Montfort University are looking at how to support people with heart failure and their family caregivers better. In particular they want to try offering ‘mindfulness’ sessions to give people new ideas and skills to cope with the everyday stresses in life.  As part of the planning for the research, they want to talk to people with heart failure and/or their family caregivers to get their thoughts and advice about this idea. Could you help?

What is involved?        

If you have heart failure, or are a caregiver* for someone with heart failure, you are invited to attend an informal meeting to meet with the researchers, who will tell you more about the project and get your thoughts.  They want to know if you think mindfulness might be useful, and how to avoid any problems which might stop people attending the sessions.    

The meetings will last about an hour, and will take place at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.  Refreshments will be offered, and reasonable travel costs will be covered, plus £15 in recognition of you giving up your time. There will be one meeting for caregivers and one for people with heart failure, and dates and times will be arranged to suit participants. 

(*A caregiver could be a partner/spouse or other family member e.g. daughter, whoever is most involved or affected, either practically or emotionally.)

I’m interested – what do I do now?

If you would like to attend a meeting, or want to find out more, contact Jaqui Long (0116 250 6538, [email protected]) or Wendy Padley (0116 201 3917, [email protected]) in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at De Montfort University.

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FREE Support Programme for carers in Hinckley

Caring with Confidence - a FREE support programme for anyone caring for a family member or friend, with any condition, is starting in Hinckley on Thursday 12th May from 10am-1pm at St Francis Community Centre, Tudor Road, Hinckley, LE10 0EQ. Refreshments provided. 

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 or feel they're not being heard. Others say they would like the chance to meet others in a similar situation. 

Caring with Confidence can help with these problems. 

The FREE support programme runs over five weeks and is held in a relaxed and friendly environment with two facilitators who are carers themselves. It covers a range of topics including accessing support, coping with stress, taking care of your own health and wellbeing, how to communicate with professionals, service providers and the person you care for, ideas to help with self-advocacy and tips for caring day-to-day. 

Everyone is welcome, please come to as many sessions as you can. You're welcome to bring a friend or family member if you think they could benefit from the programme too. 

To find out more and book a place: 

Call: Ranjana or Debbie at The Carers Centre on 0116 251 0999. 

Click here to find out more about the programme week by week 

Quote from a carer who recently attended the programme:

“What a blessing this course has been and in such a relaxed atmosphere. I have gained so much practical information to help me in my caring role and have also realised how much I matter and I too have got a life and a future. You have given me so much help and I have made many new friends. Thank you so much.”

Eileen from Leicester

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JOB OPPORTUNITY: DIGITAL INCLUSION OFFICER, SUPPORT FOR CARERS

Would you like to help carers become more confident with technology - so they can get support, find information, get things done and socialise online more easily? 

We're looking for a self-employed, sessional worker for a new project supporting carers throughout Leicestershire. 

As our Digital Inclusion Officer, you'll help carers get online and also recruit and train a team of around 25 volunteers to help carers. 

You must have experience of working with carers and volunteers and knowledge of providing computer based training. Ideally, you'll be accredited by Learn My Way

Hours and salary are flexible and negotiable. 

To find out more please email [email protected] by 13th April.

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How can the Government improve support for carers?

The Government want to develop a new strategy for carers - setting out how they can do more. One which reflects carers' lives now, the health and financial concerns you have and the support you need to live well, whilst caring for a family member or friend. 

To help them develop the strategy, they want to hear from carers, as well as those that need caring for, together with organisations and professionals that support carers. 

Have your say today and help improve Government support for carers!

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Could you help carers to get online?

We're looking for people to volunteer as digipals! 

What is a digipal?

This is someone who will work with carers in their own homes, to support them to learn to:

                  … and many more things!

Training will be provided and this could lead on (if you choose) to gaining Learn My Way City & Guilds level 3

Please call us on 0845 689 9510 or email [email protected] to find out more or to request a volunteer role description.

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

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Spring Newsletter out now!

Catch up with all the latest news and information for carers in our Spring Newsletter, including an update on our carer buddying scheme and the latest advice on getting the best from NHS services.

Remember, we're here to help with anything related to caring, whether you have a question or you'd like advice, guidance, support or simply a friendly chat. We're supporting almost 4,000 carers throughout Leicestershire now, through our helpline, carers' support groups and a range of other services. 

Click here to read our Spring Newsletter

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Would you like our help to get online?

Does the internet scare you? Would you like to know more? 

We can support carers on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting to learn how to:

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

To find out more

Please call 0845 689 9510

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

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Alzheimer’s Society Carer Information Workshops for South Asian families

The Alzheimer's Society is running a free 4 week course for carers, which aims to improve the lives of people with dementia in South Asian communities, by giving family members and friends the knowledge, skills and understanding to support those affected by the condition.

The course will cover Understanding dementia, Legal and money matters, Looking after others and Looking after yourself. The course starts on Tuesday 5th April, with sessions on 12th April, 19th April and 26th April all from 2pm to 4.30pm at the Barnabus Centre, St Paul's Church, Hamble Road, Oadby, Leicester, LE2 4NX. 

To find out more or book a place on the course: 

Call: 0116 231 1111
Email: [email protected]
Download the poster 

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New friendship group for Coalville

Would you like to meet other people in your community with the same goals and interests as you? And perhaps arrange activities like dining out, movies, dancing, meeting for a coffee, exercise classes...the possibilities are endless. 

Lynne Brydon Graham from Timebanking in Leicestershire and Annette Goodwin from the Inclusion Support Service have recently set up a new friendship group in Coalvile, which hopes to meet every week on a Tuesday from 1pm-3pm at the Monkey Walk Weatherspoons in Coalville.  

To find out more call: 

Lynne:  07867 907 113

Annette: 07747 722 665

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

The Alzheimer's Society is running a Carer Information and Support Programme in Melton Mowbray (CrISP 2) to give carers information and support. The programme has been designed specifically for carers, family members and friends of people who have been living with dementia for some time. 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.

The programme consists of three essential sessions, each lasting two and a half hours, covering the following topics:                           

•Understanding how dementia progresses

•Living with change as dementia progresses

•Living well as dementia progresses, including occupation and activities.

Course dates

Session 1: Tuesday 1st March 
Session 2: Tuesday 8th March
Session 3: Tuesday 15th March 

All sessions will run from 10am to 12.30pm at Melton Borough Council, Parkside, Station Approach, Burton Street, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1GH. 

The sessions will be run by Alzheimer's Society staff and volunteers. 

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 book your place:  

Call: 0116 231 1111
E-mail: l[email protected]

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NEW Mental Health Support Group - Charnwood

The OASIS Project is running a NEW Mental Health Support Group every Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm (from 2nd Feburary 2016) at Broombriggs Room, John Storer House, Wards End, Loughborough, LE11 3HA.

Do you struggle with stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health problems?

Do you sometimes feel socially isolated & would like the opportunity to meet others with similar issues and make new friends?

Would you like to get involved in a supportive social and well-being group where you can share concerns, increase your self-confidence, learn new ways to cope better with your mental health, access information and advice and have some fun?

Then the Oasis Project may be just what you need!

A warm welcome awaits you at The Oasis.

‘Oasis - any place of rest or pleasure in the midst of toil & gloom’

*Please note this project is NOT open to those who already have a Personal Budget or Direct Payment from social services to pay for support.

To find out more:

Call Fiona Kinsey on 0116 247 0335 or 
Email [email protected]

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

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. The sessions are designed to provide carers with information and support, and the chance to talk, in a friendly and confidential environment, about your experiences and the impact they're having on you. They'll be run by Alzheimer's Society staff and volunteers. 

Topics will include: 

Course Dates:           

Session 1 - Tuesday 5th January 2016

Session 2 - Tuesday 12th January 2016

Session 3 - Tuesday 19th January 2016

Session 4 - Tuesday 26th January 2016

All sessions will run between 6pm - 8.30pm

Venue:                        

The Stoneygate Baptist Church, 315 London Road, Leicester, LE2 3ND

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 book a place: 

Call: 0116 231 1111
Email: [email protected]

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Our Carers’ Choir in action

Check out our wonderful Carers' Choir singing 'With A Little Help From My Friends'. We're always happy to welcome new members to our choir, so if you'd like to find out more about joining why not email [email protected] or call us on 0845 689 9510 (calls charged at local rates). 

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New support group for dementia carers

This new group is hoping to give people with dementia and their carers somewhere to come and relax for a couple of hours with people in a similar position.

To find out more call Victoria on 01509 650662.

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Take a sneak peek at our autumn newsletter

Why not put your feet up for a few moments and enjoy reading our latest newsletter - full of useful news and information for carers, including top tips to keep you fit and healthy as the weather gets colder, a guide to Carer's Credit and details of a new Carers Emergency Plan designed by carers. 

Click here to read

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Step by Step - three new groups for former carers

We're pleased to announce we're launching three new groups for carers whose caring role has come to an end, thanks to funding through Leicestershire County Council. 

We understand that when a carer's caring role comes to an end there is often a huge gap left, because the carer has devoted so much of their time and life to caring for their loved one or friend. 

The evidence shows this is the crisis time; your role has changed, all the help and support stops and you can become isolated, which can lead to anxiety and depression.                                                  

Our Step by Step groups will support former carers to help you: 

The Step by Step groups will be held monthly on a Wednesday in Market Harborough, Lutterworth and Hinckley. The groups will be social as well as informative, and an opportunity to meet people in a similar situation and make new friends over a cup of tea/coffee and biscuits. 

Lutterworth Step by Step Group

Meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 2.30pm-4pm starting on Wednesday 14th October at Lutterworth Town Hall, High Street, Lutterworth, LE17 4AT. 

Hinckley Step by Step Group

Meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month from 2.30pm-4pm starting on Wednesday 21st October at Hinckley Baptist Church, Pathway Centre, Baptist Walk, Hinckley, LE10 1PR.

Market Harborough Step by Step Group

Meets every 4th Wednesday of the month from 1.30pm-3pm starting on Wednesday 28th October at the Methodist Church (opposite the Market Hall), Northampton Road, Market Harborough LE16 9HE.

If you would be interested in coming along to the group or know of someone who would be, please call Gurjit or Jackie on 0845 6899510.

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Health watch Leicestershire - Your Voice Matters

Healthwatch Leicestershire regularly conduct surveys to find out the public's views, opinions and experiences of healthcare services in Leicestershire, in order to influence positive change. 

Why not have your say in two of their latest surveys - The Ambulance and Emergency Services quick poll and their Community Conversations questionnaire. 

You can complete the Ambulance and Emergency Services quick poll online or by downloading it here as a Microsoft Word document and returning by the end of September to FREEPOST, LE5 328, Healthwatch Leicestershire, Voluntary Action Leicester, PO Box 30, Leicester, LE1 7ZX, marked For Attention Of Yachna Desai, Information Assistant. 

You can complete the Community Conversations questionnaire by downloading it here and returning it to the address above. 

Please note: Microsoft Word documents usually download to your downloads folder - they don't open in a new window. 

If you have any questions, please call Yachna Desai on 0116 257 5016.

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Creative writing course for carers

Nina Robertson is running a creative writing group for carers again this term. She explains: 

This is a not for profit group and I'm a carer myself. The group aims to give carers time-out to nourish ourselves through writing. For beginner and experienced writers. Write a poem, a play, a novel, your autobiography. A friendly and supportive group where you can pick up a pen and see what happens!

The group runs monthly Wednesdays 2pm - 4pm at Evington Park House, Evington Park, The Common, Evington LE5 6DE. 

Dates: October 21st, Nov 25th, Dec 16th. 

Cost by donation (suggested minimum £2).

To find out more:

Call Nina on: 07500 833771
Email: [email protected]

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Do you care for someone with Autism?

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

Just to let you know, the Dementia Cafe in Market Harborough has recently updated it's details on our website.

The cafe now meets on the third Thursday of the month from 2pm to 4pm at Jubilee Hall, Congregational Church, Bowden Lane, Market Harborough, LE16 7AF. It is open to anyone affected by dementia, including carers. Sessions include regular guest speakers and fun activities. The cafe also runs a Singing for Memories session on the first Tuesday of the month from 2pm to 3.30pm. 

To find out more call Peter Raybould (Chair) on 07837 763316 or visit the group's website.

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Would you like to help shape healthcare in Leicestershire?

Below is a list of forthcoming Involvement Opportunities across Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust:

The Trust's Complaints Review Panel is looking for a group of patients/carers to join a scrutiny panel to help them review the way they respond to complaints. Call Omita Gaikwad on 0116 295 7630 or email [email protected]. Travel expenses will be reimbursed. 

The Trust's Community Health Services team said:  "It’s very early days but we are looking at holding a Listening Into Action event in November about falls prevention both in hospitals and at home. We are particularly looking for stroke survivors or their carers. We are interested in gathering feedback from stroke survivors who were nursed at UHL and community hospitals." Call Linda Bull - Matron Coalville Community Hospital on 01530 467450 or 07826 858370 or email [email protected]

The Trust's Adult Mental Health Communications Team are looking for a group of patients willing to provide comments on a newsletter aimed at patients. Hard copies of the newsletter are available, alternatively email feedback is welcome. Call Clare Neill on 0116 225 6637 or email [email protected]  

The Trust's Better Care Together team are seeking current or previous service users of mental health services to join a group of other likeminded individuals to help shape future mental health services. This is part of the Better Care Together programme for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland - a partnership between all local health and social care providers to work better together to improve the health and wellbeing of our population. The Better Care Together team said: "The mental health workstream is one of the areas we are looking to improve the patient experience and we'd like your help to do this. If you can spare two days a month to go to a two hour meeting about how we make sure service users get to shape future services then we'd like to hear from you. All you need is passion and commitment to make a difference."  Find out more

The Trust's Adult Mental Health Services team are looking for service users/carer representatives for the Care Programming Approach (CPA) Group. They said: "This group seeks assurance from services on standards of CPA practice. CPA is a key policy nationally and service users and carers need to be involved in ensuring that the organisation is keeping up with good practice, how it is delivered and how variations, if any, are managed."  Call Dr Girish Kunigiri, Consultant Psychiatrist, Bradgate Mental Health Unit on 01162252625 or email [email protected]. The group meets every quarter. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.

The Trust's Reader Panel Service is a group of lay readers that quality checks the Trust's patient information to ensure it’s understandable and doesn’t contain jargon. They are particularly looking for service users/carers with experience of Adult Mental Health and Families, Young People’s and Children’s Services. Call Di Graham on 07879115033 or email [email protected]  

The Trust's Smokefree Action Team are looking for service users and carers who have a view about LPT’s smokefree strategy (the plan to go completely smokefree by the end of 2016), and particularly those who have had experience of using electronic cigarettes (ecigs). Call Louise Ross, Stop Smoking Service Manager on 07824 835 650 or email [email protected] Initially a telephone survey. Louise will call people back if they let her know (text or email) that they would like a conversation.

The Trust's Pharmacy team are looking for a one-off commitment to attend a meeting to discuss the way forward for pharmacy/medicines services within the Trust. No more than half a day max. Travel expenses paid. To find out more email Anthony Oxley, Head of Pharmacy [email protected]

The Trust's Research and Development (EPPIC project) team would like to collaborate with service users and carers to help improve the quality of LPT's research. They said: "We're still in the planning stages but we're looking for a long term commitment starting in the autumn for around 18 months (or longer if people wish to). We will train volunteers to work with staff to help design research studies because their involvement will likely increase the quality and success of research projects. We want to develop a pool of talent which staff can work with when planning research. The level of commitment will vary depending on each project." To find out more call Gail Melvin, Research Manager on 0116 2955805 or email [email protected] The EPPIC project will involve meeting with the project team and then attending some training before working with staff to plan research studies. You'll also be invited to occasional meetings and asked to review documents and keep a reflective diary. Expenses will be reimbursed, including for your time.

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Thank you for coming along to our Carers Summertime Health and Wellbeing Events!

We held two very successful Carers Summertime Health and Wellbeing Events recently - one in Coalville on 4th June and the other in Hinckley on 16th June, to celebrate all the hard work carers do.

There was a range of information stalls, guest speakers and activities for carers to get involved with. Jane Robins from Leicestershire County Council talked about the Care Act and the Carer's Assessment.

Paul Tyson gave a talk on healthy eating, while Emma Hopkins, Physical Activity Coordinator at Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council (Hinckley Leisure Centre) provided information on healthy walks and activities.

Activities on offer at both events included Chair Based Exercises, Laughter Workshops, Complementary Therapies, Line Dancing and Blood Pressure and Diabetes Testing.

Here are a few comments from some of the carers that attended: 

“I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun”

“It was a great event and very informative”

“I loved the chair based exercises”

“I have not seen my husband laugh like that in ages”

“Thank you for such a lovely time”

“Good to know my blood pressure is ok”

“Can’t wait for the next time”

“I feel so uplifted and relaxed”

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Do you care for someone with ADHD?

ADHD Solutions is a not for profit charitable company in Leicester that works with children, young people and adults with ADHD, their families and any professional that works with them. 

The charity has put together a booklet full of useful information on ADHD including what it is, how it affects children, strategies for overcoming some of the difficulties faced by families, strategies that can be used in the classroom and places you can go for help and advice. 

You'll also find lots of information on ADHD Solutions' website, including their latest newsletter. 

The company offers training too, and a summer programme of activities for children.

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New Dementia Action Alliance to launch in Blaby District during national Dementia Awareness Week

Join Blaby District Council Health & Leisure Team to celebrate the launch of the Blaby District Dementia Action Alliance on Tuesday 19th May between 1pm-3pm at The Council Chamber, Blaby District Council Offices, Desford Road, Narborough, LE19 2EP and help them make Blaby District a dementia-friendly community.

Come along to find out how the Alliance plans to help improve quality of life for people with dementia and their carers. The event will also include a range of dementia friendly activities including afternoon tea, shared reading, singing for the brain, laughter workshop, books on prescription, information and advice from Support for Carers, the Alzheimer's Society and Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland and a Dementia Friends Information Session from 2pm to 3pm. 

The Alliance is made up of a group of organisations who have come together with the aim of making Blaby District a better place to live for people with dementia and their carers.

The number of people living with dementia in Blaby District is expected to almost double by 2030.

Parking is available in the local area – please use the Pay & Display Weavers Car Park adjacent to the Council offices.

RSVP by Friday 8th May to Blaby District Council Health & Leisure Team:

Call: 0116 2727703

Email: [email protected]

Download the flyer to find out more 

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New dementia cafe opening in Coalville

Are you a carer for someone living with dementia?

Coalville Community Resource Centre would like to invite you to the opening of their new dementia cafe on 14 April from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at the Coalville Community Resource Centre, Comet Way, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 3FS.

Come along and be part of a very exciting new venture, where you'll be able to have your say and plan for future events at the dementia cafe.

To celebrate their first day, they have a guest speaker joining them - Jane Robins, Leicestershire County Council's Carers Project Officer, who will be there to answer any questions you have about the Care Act.

Refreshments will be available.

To find out more

Call: 0116 305 3202.

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

The Alzheimer's Society are running carer workshops to give you information and support. 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're having on you.

Topics will include: 

What is dementia? 

Course dates 

Session 1 - Wednesday 22 April 

Session 2 - Wednesday 29 April 

Session 3 - Wednesday 6 May 

Session 4 - Wednesday 13 May 

All sessions will run from 1.30pm to 4pm. 

Venue

Melton Theatre, Ashfordby Road, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE13 0HJ.

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 book a place 

Call: 0116 231 1111

 Email: [email protected]

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Do you care for someone with an Autistic Spectrum Condition?

A new Social/Support Group for parents/carers/relatives of people with an Autistic Spectrum Condition is starting on Friday 20th March from 1pm until 3pm at Burbage Constitutional Club, 64 Church Street, Burbage, LE10 2DE. The group will then run every two weeks, giving you a chance to meet and chat to people going through similar things, with a drink and cake. Admission free.

To find out more: 

Call Kim Sharpe on 07939 025222 or 01455 450425
Email: [email protected]
Download the poster 

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Spring 2015 Newsletter - hot off the press!

Why not put your feet up for five minutes and enjoy reading our latest newsletter for carers? Simply click the picture below! 

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

If you care for someone with dementia, why not go along to the Share & Care Group coffee morning on the 2nd Friday of every month from 10am to 12 noon at The Porch, Lutterworth Methodist Church (opposite Morrisons).

The Share & Care Group is a social group run by and for people living with dementia, their partners, carers and family. It's supported by Age UK Leicestershire, Age Concern Lutterworth, Lutterworth Methodist Church, St Mary's Church, Lutterworth and Crossroads. 

Enjoy a mouth-watering array of coffee, tea and cakes, as well as the chance to chat and laugh! 

All are welcome, whether you come as a person with dementia or a carer/family member. 

To find out more please call Jackie Parkes on 07748 647 192.

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New Carers Support Group starting in Lutterworth on 12th November

Do you care for a child or adult with a physical or learning disability, a behavioural problem, a long-term illness, a mental health problem, who is elderly or frail or has an addiction? 

If so, please come along to a NEW very informal Support Group/Coffee Morning at the: 

One Stop Shop
Wycliffe House
Gilmorton Road
Lutterworth
LE17 4DY

From 10.30am to 12.30pm on the 2nd Wednesday of every month starting on Wednesday 12th November.

Make new friends and discover information on services, time to offload and share concerns, social actitives, signposting to helpful organisations and being listened to and understood. 

To find out more please call Sarah or Gwyn on 01933 677837.

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Film premiere - The Anonymous People

Leicestershire and Rutland Recovery Forum will present the premiere of The Anonymous People on 18th June from 11am to 2.30pm at Loughborough Town Hall - a documentary film about over 23 million people living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

There will also be a Community Fair including stalls and a raffle.

“Recovery is a Reality “ Be a part of the conversation.

Email: [email protected] for your ticket and to find out more.

To watch the trailer visit: http://theanonymouspeople.com

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Summer newsletter hot off the press!

Our Summer newsletter includes details of our free Carers Summer Fest in celebration of national Carers Week, an update on our Carers’ Choirs project and a round up of Carers’ Support Groups we run around the county.

Click here to read it in full

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Carers Spring Fest - evaluation

As many of you will know, we held our Carers Spring Fest on 25th April at the Bassett Centre in Wigston.

The event went very well with 39 people attending, including carers, cared for and representatives from different organisations who had information stands. 

We had two guest speakers, Amanda Gilhespie, Specialist Discharge Nurse, who talked about what's involved in hospital discharge and Kim Westbury who talked about how to prevent fires in the home. We finished with chair based exercises from Nisha Popat.

Thank you again to all our guest speakers and stall holders.

From the evaluation forms, feedback showed that the overall majority attending found the Fest informative, fun and useful. Carers and cared for also appreciated having the opportunity to visit the stands, talk to stall holders and have information available to take away. All in all, everyone felt the event had met their expectations.

We also had lots of suggestions for future guest speakers including the Police, Social Services and Alzheimer’s Society.

The food for the event was kindly donated by Sainsbury’s (Market Harborough).

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Make friends with a book

Leicestershire County Council and The Reader Organisation have teamed up to offer a new free group at Wigston Library, Bull Head Street, Wigston every Wednesday from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

The group is a place to relax, make new friends and enjoy shared reading. There is no pressure to read or talk, you can simply drop in, sit down and relax as you listen to a good story or poem. And it's free!

To find out more call 0116 305 3689 or email [email protected]

To find out more about The Reader Organisation please visit www.thereader.org.uk

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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.