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News in Leicester

New Carers Information Videos now up!

Thanks to funding from Market Harborough and the Bowdens charity, we are delighted to present our new series of nine Carers Information Videos. Written in-house by one of the SFC team, they are concise, informative and friendly, and especially relevant to carers in Leicestershire. They are available to view on our YouTube channel now. Most of them last around 3 minutes and all are subtitled.

Benefits - Attendance Allowance, PIP, Carers Allowance, Carers Credit and Council Tax Reduction.

Care in the home. .

Carers Assessments.

Legal stuff - Power of Attorney, Wills, Living Wills and Advance Decisions.

Looking after me. Ways to safeguard your own health and wellbeing while caring.

Tech and Gadgets.

When Something Goes Wrong - Emergency planning, Message in a Bottle

Choosing residential care and coping with the end of your caring role.

Bereavement.

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Health & Cultural event - Leicester

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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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Message in a Bottle campaign launches at Leicester Royal Infirmary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more in our newsletter 

Find out more about the event on the Leicestershire Police website 

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Discover yourself and your dreams

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

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

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

Refreshments provided. 

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Do you have questions about dementia?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Free event - fraud and cyber-crime

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

To find out more and book your place: 

Email: [email protected] 

Call: 0116 248 5322 

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

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Courses for learners with learning difficulties/disabilities

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

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

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

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

View the poster 

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Hospitals in Leicester: Have your say

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

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Emergency assistance available

If you, or someone you care for, are experiencing income difficulties, for example, because you're waiting for benefits to be processed, then Charity Link may be able to help. They can help with things like emergency food (in the form of food vouchers) and gas and electricity payments.

Their service is extremely quick and effective and in many cases they can help the same day. 

To find out more please visit their website or call the team at Charity Link on 0116 222 2201.

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Have you read our latest newsletter?

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

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Have your say!

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

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

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

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Health Promotion Event - 14 October

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

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

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Want to learn life saving First Aid skills?

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

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

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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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Could you be a Trustee?

The Carers Centre is looking for Trustees to help shape the services it provides to carers, especially those with experience in business or commercial sectors. 

What's involved? 

Trustees are responsible for planning the direction The Carers Centre takes, and setting the policies that the organisation works to. In addition, they oversee the delivery and quality of services to carers, provided by The Carers Centre, to make sure they're in line with all contract requirements and meet the needs of carers from diverse local communities. Trustees are sometimes required to represent The Carers Centre at meetings and events, so they're particularly keen to hear from confident public speakers. Experience of forging effective partnerships would be helpful too, as the charity is looking to work with other agencies to deliver services. 

The Carers Centre is looking for Trustees who will be ambitious for The Carers Centre, and committed to supporting carers. They're hoping to inject a greater degree of commercial thinking into the organisation, to help them diversify the way the charity is funded. This will help The Carers Centre to widen and improve its services.

Trustees are there to ask questions, challenge, support  and be a critical friend to The Carers Centre, and the charity couldn't operate without them.

Trustees are paid out of pocket expenses and you'll be offered full training and an induction to the Carers Centre. A DBS check will be required.

Interested? Please send a CV, marked for the attention of The Company Secretary, to the The Carers Centre (Leicestershire & Rutland), Unit 19, Matrix House, Constitution Hill, Leicester, LE1 1PL or email [email protected] by 14th September 2017.

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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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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 a young person or adult with learning disabilities?

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

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

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

Download more information about forthcoming meetings (Word document) 

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The Carers Centre: Carers Self Help Group

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

May meeting dates

Friday 26th May 

June meeting dates

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

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

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

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

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

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Do you live in Leicester?

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

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

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Do you care for someone with autism?

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

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

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FREE course: Prepared to Care with Confidence

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

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

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

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

About the programme 

The programme will include the following sessions: 

Finding Your Way
Tuesday 13th June   

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

Caring and Coping
Tuesday 20th June 

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

Managing Stress Effectively
Tuesday 27th June   

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

Caring and Communication
Tuesday 4th July  

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

Caring Day-to-Day
Tuesday 11th July   

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

Caring, Working & Life
Tuesday 18th July   

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

Quote from carers who recently attended the programme:

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

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

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

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Free event: Bridging the Years

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

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

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

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Urgent Appeal for Funding

URGENT APPEAL FOR FUNDING: CARERS HEALTH AND WELLBEING SERVICE 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you in anticipation.  

Kind regards. 

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

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

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Meet our two new team members!

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

Natasha Mack, Delivery Officer

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

Adele, Delivery Officer 

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

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

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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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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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Please look after yourself - get the flu jab this winter

Please take the time to look after yourself and get protected with the flu jab this winter. As a carer for someone else, it can be easy to overlook your own health. Flu can knock even the healthiest people off their feet for a couple of weeks, making it impossible for a carer to look after the person in their care.

This is why the NHS offers you a free flu vaccination as a registered carer. It’s not just about protecting you as a carer from getting flu, but also preventing you from passing the virus onto the vulnerable person you care for.

Flu is a highly infectious disease which is easily spread from one person to another. Getting flu when you already have a long-term condition can lead to serious complications, and it can even be a killer. There are a lot of myths about flu that have circulated over the years. Many people worry that the vaccine can give you the flu. Please be assured that this isn’t possible as there is no live influenza virus in the vaccine. Unlike other medication for long term conditions, the flu jab is an annual one-off vaccine. The flu vaccine changes every year to fight the latest strains of flu, so even if you had a jab last winter you need another one this year to stay flu safe.

Find out more and watch a short video on why you should get the flu jab this winter 

Find out more about staying well this winter 

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We’re moving!

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

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

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

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

Many thanks, 

The Support for Carers Team 

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Has your life been touched by dementia?

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

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

Find out more online

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

View the poster online 

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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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Important message from Leicestershire County Council / Leicester City Council about bogus callers

Leicestershire Police have recently received a report of a suspicious caller posing as being from both Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City Council, advising people that they are required to make an additional payment to their council tax. The caller then went on to try to take the payment over the telephone.

Neither Leicester City Council or any of the district councils who collect Council Tax would ring you to try to take a payment over the telephone.

If you do receive a call from someone in relation to Council Tax, ask them to give you the Council Tax reference number and the balance outstanding, and check this against your bill.

Never give bank details or personal information to anyone that you don't feel is 100% genuine. Any reputable company will be happy for you to check they are who they say they are before you give out personal information.

If you receive a call of this nature please be cautious and double check that the person calling is who they say they are.

If you live in the county your council tax is dealt with by the relevant District or Borough Council, not Leicestershire County Council.

We recommend asking the caller for their name and contact details so that you can call them back in order to check that they are legitimate. Official callers should have no problem providing you with this information as they will understand that you are cautious about giving out personal information over the phone.

If the caller is not genuine they are likely to become defensive or flustered when questioned for this information. If the caller provides you with their contact details, please check the number against the number of the relevant council tax department for your area. If the numbers do not match we recommend calling the number on the council's website and asking to speak to the person who has called you.

Details of the numbers for the Borough/District councils can be found here.  If you have a Council Tax query for the city council, call 0116 454 100.

If you believe you have been a victim of this type of call please report it by calling 101.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Are you a carer from a black or ethnic minority community?

This looks like an interesting event for mental health service users and their carers and families - especially if you're from a black or ethnic minority community. 

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Carers Engagement Event - POSTPONED UNTIL NEW YEAR

PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT IS NOW POSTPONED UNTIL THE NEW YEAR. 

This event is free to carers and will be held at Devonshire Place, London Road, Leicester, LE4 0BF on 4th November from 9am to 2pm.

If you would like to attend please call the Patient Experience Team on 0116 2585384. Please note: places are limited.

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R U OK? A new mental health campaign for Leicestershire

We're supporting R U OK? Day - a multi-agency event to raise awareness of how a kind word or quick conversation can help lift the mood of someone who might be feeling low.

Organisations from across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will be on Leicester Railway Station on Thursday 8 October 'making connections' for World Mental Health Day, under the banner of Change Your Mind.

Scores of volunteers will be mingling with passengers between 7am and 7pm, with the aim of engaging people in 30 second conversations. 

Event co-ordinator Matthew Wakely, a mental health team manager from Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT), explained:

“What we want to convey is a very simple concept. Letting someone know you are there, sharing a cup of tea and listening, sending a text message, giving some time to someone, are all ways every one of us can help." 

There will be a central information point close to the station entrance where travellers can pick up information about organisations who offer help, and a quiet area where people can have a more in-depth discussion if they wish to. Plus, commuters will be offered free bookmarks signposting them to a new dedicated Change Your Mind website, which outlines the aims of the campaign and provides information about sources of support. 

It's hoped the R U OK? event will kick start an ongoing multi-agency Change Your Mind mental health awareness campaign, complimenting existing campaigns such as Time for Change and Rethink Your Mind. 

R U OK? is part of a week of activities supported by organisations across Leicestershire and Rutland in the week of World Mental Health Day (10 October): The line up includes: Monday 5 October - Bake Off event at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s Mett Centre; Tuesday 6 October - Speak out stand in Leicester market; Wednesday 7 October - Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre event; Thursday 8 October - Network / LAMP Social Evening at Regents Club and Social Media Cafe; Saturday 10 October - Highcross Mental Health Day pop up shop event.

To find out more call Sheila Ashton, communications manager, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust on 0116 295 0042 or email [email protected] 

You can follow Change Your Mind on Twitter @CYM_LLR

Read more including a story by someone affected by mental health and how others helped 

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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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‘Feel Alive from 65’

Sport and physical activity is an important part of all our lives, especially as we get older. Last year, Leicestershire and Rutland Sport's (LRS) annual active ageing campaign saw over 1,500 older adults participate in sport and physical activity taster sessions across the county. This year's campaign week 'Feel Alive from 65' will run from 28th September to 4th October - giving you an amazing opportunity to take part in a programme of physical activity across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, including over 150 taster sessions featuring kurling, tai chi, walking, bowls, seated exercise and many more.

Take a look at the programme to find sessions near you 

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Leicester’s Hospitals Annual Public Meeting - Thursday 17th September

You're welcome to go along to Leicester's Hospitals Annual Public Meeting on Thursday 17th September from 4pm-8pm at The Big Shed, Freemans Common, 93 Commercial Square, Leicester, LE2 7SR. 

With a theme of 'Delivering Caring at its Best', this year's meeting will focus on how hopsital services are changing over the next five years. The event will begin with an information and health fair between 4pm-6pm followed by refreshments and a light buffet, before the formal AGM meeting begins at 6.30pm. During the meeting, the Trust Board will review the past year and discuss Leicester's Hospitals new Five Year Plan: 'Delivering Caring at its Best'. 

If you have any questions about the services Leicester's Hospitals run, the Trust Chief Executive, John Adler, and other Senior Directors, will be holding a question and answer session for the general public towards the end of the event.

Everyone is welcome with no booking required and parking is free at the venue.

To find out more: 

Email: [email protected] 

Visit: www.leicesterhospitals.nhs.uk

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Do you care for someone with Autism?

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Carers Engagement Event - Leicester

The Hospitals of Leicester are holding a free event for carers on 4th November from 9am to 4pm at Devonshire Place, London Road, Leicester - where you'll be able to find out how hospitals are improving things for carers, have your say on what else could be done, meet other carers and find out more about services and support for carers in your community. 

Click to download the flyer

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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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Autumn walks for people living with dementia

Do you care for someone living with dementia who would like to join in a gentle guided walk in a nature setting?

Dementia Adventure in partnership with Leicester City Council are running free walks in Leicester’s parks and Aylestone Riverside area every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am throughout September and October.

Click here for Park Walks

Click here for Riverside Walks

Led by a specially trained leader, these walks are friendly, informal and all about enjoying the outdoors and nature, so that those living with dementia and their carers can enjoy an outdoor experience with all the benefits that brings.

Kath Pyke, East Midlands based Project Leader with Dementia Adventure said:

“Sometimes people need a special invitation to either visit somewhere new or look at how much a place has to offer through fresh eyes. Research shows that spending time in nature and the outdoors can be especially calming for people living with dementia, with all the sights, sounds and smells. It’s also an opportunity for a carer to spend time in a lovely place, find out new things and meet new people.”

Although Dementia Adventure asks people to register in advance, they always keep a few spaces available in case people simply want to turn up on the day and find out what the walks are all about. All walks are designed for use by wheel chair users and have access to toilets and shelter. You’re welcome to bring along a drink and a sandwich to enjoy afterwards.

The Leicester walks are part of a national programme generously supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Call Dementia Adventure to find out more and book your free place on 01245 230661 or 07531 215 918 or email [email protected]

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Care for someone with autism?

The National Autistic Society is running FREE information days to talk to carers and families of people on the autism spectrum about changes in adult social care.

Government reform of adult social care is focused on the ‘personalisation’ of support, and personal budgets, with the aim of empowering people to choose and control the services they receive. This will affect all those who receive support, whether they pay for it themselves or if it is provided by statutory services.

The information sharing day will cover community care (from the basics of what it is, to how it can be accessed) The Care Act, Person-Centred Planning, Support Planning, Personal Budgets, Personal Health Budgets, Direct Payments, and how personalisation can work for you and the person you care for.

The next family information sharing day near you will be on:

8th October 2014 at 10am (for a 10.30 start) until 2.30pm

At:
The Brite Centre
Braunstone Avenue
Leicester
LE3 1LE

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. 

To find out more please call Rachel Ashton on 07442 498 012 or email [email protected]

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“Carers Have Your Say” event - 19 June

Have you or the person you look after been discharged from hospital in the last 12 months?

Are you aware that Leicestershire County Council have two consultations going on at the moment that may affect the carers and adult prevention services you receive?

If you look after a member of your family or a friend and are interested in either or both of these topics then you are invited to attend Healthwatch Leicestershire's "Carers Have Your Say" event on Thursday 19th June from 9.30am to 12.30pm at County Hall, Glenfield, Leicester, LE3 8RA. 

There will be representatives from:

• The University of Leicester Hospitals NHS Trust to talk to you about your experiences of discharge from hospital, either as a patient or as a carer
• Leicestershire County Council to explain the proposals around Carers Support Services and Prevention Services and to ask your opinions

If you would like to have your say and influence the people who make decisions about the services that you use then please book your place by registering here

To find out more email [email protected]

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Pioneering dementia support service launches at the Leicester Royal Infirmary

The Alzheimer’s Society has launched a new service at Leicester Royal Infirmary, to help people live well with dementia.

The Hospital Liaison Dementia Support Service launched on 22nd April. It involves three members of staff from the charity working from the hospital in a bid to improve the experience of patients and reduce time spent in hospital and re-admissions, whilst providing valuable information, advice and guidance.

Dementia patients and their carers will be asked to complete a specialist document developed by the Alzheimer’s Society called This is Me, which details things that are important to the patient, like food preferences, interests and hobbies. The document will then be used by people involved in the patient’s hospital care, giving them easy access to the information most pertinent to the patient’s happiness and wellbeing.

Jo Rodwell, Alzheimer’s Society dementia support manager in Leicestershire and Rutland said:

“Hospital can be a daunting experience for someone with dementia, who may be experiencing confusion or have trouble communicating. This service is an exciting opportunity to build on the good work that is already going on at the hospital to ensure that people with the condition get the best possible care. We’ll be working closely with staff and patients and we hope that by providing support and information, people will stay in hospital for shorter periods, improving their quality of life and also saving money for the hospital.”

Anybody can refer dementia patients to the service, including carers and patients themselves. To find out more call Jo Rodwell (Dementia Support Manager) or Sally Grundy (Services Manager) on 0116 231 1111 or e-mail [email protected]

The Alzheimer's Society has also produced a guide to give you more information.

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Do you care for someone with dementia?

The Alzheimer's Society is running a Carer Information and Support Programme - a series of workshops run over four sessions for people caring for a family member or friend with dementia.

The programme will give you an opportunity 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 someone with dementia?
• The support services available
• Planning for the future
Course Dates:

Session 1 - Wednesday 8th January 2014
Session 2  - Wednesday 15th January 2014
Session 3 - Wednesday 22nd January 2014
Session 4  - Wednesday 29th January 2014

All sessions will run from 6pm to 8.30pm

Venue:

Mosaic
2 Oak Spinney Park
Ratby Lane
Leicester Forest East
LE3 3AW

Who will be there?

The workshops will be run by Alzheimer’s Society staff and volunteers - for people who care for a family member or friend with dementia.
                                
To find out more or to book a place call: 0116 231 1111 or email [email protected]

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Dementia awareness events

Organisations including the Alzheimer's Society, Dementia Action Alliance, Leicestershire Constabulary, Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council have come together to hold dementia awareness events around the county throughout May. 

The events will promote the Alzheimer's Society 'Dementia Friendly Communities' and 'Dementia Friends' initiatives, as well as safety in the community and local services supporting people with dementia and their carers. Dementia Friends information sessions will also be available at each event, you can find out more and register at www.dementiafriends.org.uk 

Market Harborough - Thursday 23 May, 10.30am to 1.30pm, The Three Swans Hotel, Main St, Market Harborough, LE16 7NJ

Hinckley - Tuesday 21 May, 10.30am to 1.30pm, The Atkins Building, Lower Bond St, Hinckley, LE10 1QU

Leicester City - Wednesday 22 May, 4pm to 7pm, Town Hall, Town Hall Square, Leicester, LE1 9BG

To find out more, please call the Leicestershire and Rutland branch of the Alzheimer's Society on 0116 231 1111.

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New service: Free Mental Health Education Programme for carers

We’ve recently launched an education programme for mental health carers in Leicestershire and Rutland. The programme is free and confidential and aims to help carers look after their own health and wellbeing whilst understanding more about mental illness and the support services available both locally and nationally. In addition, the programme is a chance for carers to get together and share experiences and help one another. Overall, we hope the programme will help carers to feel more confident and empowered and able to make positive changes in their caring role.

The programme runs for 8 weeks, with each session lasting two and a half hours. We’re planning to run the programme in the daytime and evening, so as many carers as possible can attend. Sessions include understanding more about recovery and relapse and how to manage it, how to cope with challenging behaviour and crisis and the impact mental illness can have on carers and families.

Anyone who is supporting someone with a mental illness, or whose life is affected by it, is welcome to come along to the sessions, including partners, family members and friends.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year, with mental illness also having a huge impact on carers and families. We’re already supporting hundreds of mental health carers in Leicestershire, so you’re definitely not alone.

We’re currently running our first programme in Broughton Astley, on a Tuesday evening, and this will be followed very quickly by another one, somewhere else in Leicestershire. We’ll let you know more details very soon, as soon as we’ve confirmed the date, time and venue.

If you’re interested in coming along or you’d like to find out more, please call Nicky Daly on 07847 228737 or email [email protected]

Download our Mental Health Education Programme leaflet for more details

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Have you or the person you care for ever been a victim of hate crime?

The most wide-ranging survey of hate crime victims ever to be undertaken is being launched this month in Leicester by a specialist research team based at the Department of Criminology, University of Leicester. 

The survey is part of the Leicester Hate Crime Project - a two year study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, designed to examine victims' experiences of hate crime and their expectations of criminal justice agencies and other organisations in a position to offer support.

The Leicester Hate Crime Project is an independent piece of research, led by Dr Neil Chakraborti and Jon Garland. They want the research to be as inclusive as possible so they can give all victims, including those whose experiences of hate crime tend to slip under the radar, an opportunity to share their opinions.

Some victims of hate crime may be reluctant to share their experiences with the police and other agencies in a position to support them. Equally, some victims may be unfamiliar with the term 'hate crime' and will not recognise the acts of prejudice, intolerance and hostility directed towards them as hate crimes. This is therefore an important piece of research which will help to shape the way in which hate crime is understood and responded to, and the team behind it would very much welcome your support and involvement.

If you think you have been the victim of hate crime, please visit the Leicester Hate Crime Project website to find out more and to take part in the online survey. 

A hate crime refers to an act of victimisation that you feel was targeted directly towards you because of who you are. This would include a wide range of acts such as being called an abusive name, being bullied, or being physically attacked, to name just a few examples.

What will the results of the survey be used for?

The findings from this research will help Leicester, as a city, better understand the prevalence, nature and impact of hate crime and hate-related incidents, improve support for victims, and ultimately help to enhance the way that the criminal justice system and other organisations deal with such incidents.

Are there other ways of completing the survey?

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey such as wanting to receive a hard copy of the survey or wishing to complete it in another language (e.g. Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Mandarin, Polish, Punjabi, Somali or Urdu), then please do not hesitate to contact Stevie-Jade Hardy at the University of Leicester on 0116 252 3784 or email [email protected] and she will be happy to help you.

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Free electric blanket testing for over 50s

Are you over 50? Do you use an electric blanket? Would you like to know if it's safe? 

Age UK is holding an Electric Blanket Testing Event on 28th February between 9am and 4pm at Clarence House, 46 Humberstone Gate, Leicester, LE1 3PJ. 

If you would like your blanket testing by a qualified engineer, please call Age UK on 0116 2237351 OR 0116 2992278 to make an appointment. (Phone lines are open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday). 

There will also be a limited number of free replacement electric blankets available at the event, for those whose old electric blankets fail testing. 

Please note: if you'd like your electric blanket testing at the event, you'll need to book an appointment as above. 

The event will also include information and advice on staying warm and how to save on energy bills.

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Caring for someone with mental ill health, dementia or learning difficulties?

Do you care for someone with mental ill health, dementia or learning difficulties? If so, you may be interested to find out more about Carers' Action - Leicestershire and Rutland Carers' Forum. 

The forum is run by carers, for carers and provides support to carers throughout Leicestershire and Rutland who care for an adult with mental ill health, dementia or learning difficulties. 

The forum, in partnership with Labelled, a group for young carers, is currently running a carer surgery at the Involvement Centre, Bradgate Mental Health Unit, Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester, LE3 9EJ on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm - for both carers and patients. 

The forum says: 

"The aim of the surgery is to offer support to carers and make sure they are signposted to the most effective and appropriate support for their own situations, whilst letting them know about improvements within the mental health service." 

The forum is also holding two events to give carers and service users the chance to talk to professionals about their experiences - particularly of acute wards and the crisis recovery team - on 12th March from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and on 18th March from 10am to 12 noon at the Peepul Centre, Orchardson Avenue, Leicester, LE4 6DP. 

To find out more about the surgery or the events please call 0116 262 1067 or email [email protected]

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Do you care for someone with experience of mental illness? The Recovery College needs you!

Would you like to help develop a Recovery College for Leicestershire - which will offer courses around the concepts and principles of recovery? 

The organisers are keen to set up a reference group - including carers and users of mental health services. The group will help to test ideas, concepts and processes as part of the development of the college. 

If you'd like to get involved simply go along to the next meeting on Thursday 28th February 2013 from 2pm to 4pm at the Involvement Centre, Bradgate Mental Health Unit, Glenfield Hospital, Groby Road, Leicester, LE3 9EJ. 

Alternatively, you can call the organisers on 0116 295 1196 or email [email protected]

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Help for older people in Leicestershire - have your say

Communities in Partnership is currently working with Leicestershire County Council Adults and Communities Department to deliver two consultations which could affect you or those around you:

Assistive Technology and Housing Related Residential Support Services

Residents of Leicestershire are being asked for their views on plans for a ‘fairer and more flexible approach’ towards helping older people stay in their homes.

Assistive Technology uses lifelines and a range of additional sensors, such as fall detectors, to support people to live independently. At present, Assistive Technology is only available to people who live in their own home, and the County Council is considering extending the service to include those who live in sheltered or social housing.

The other proposal which forms part of the three-month consultation concerns Housing Related Support for older people. This would enable people who own or rent their homes to have the same access to services as those who live in social housing – if it would help them. Historically, the support is usually given by housing wardens or scheme managers.

Click here to find out more

Click here to complete the online survey

Paper copies are available, please call 0116 305 0004 to find out more. The consultation runs until February 2013.

Have Your Say

Communities in Partnership is also looking for members of the public to participate in focus groups throughout January and February 2013, with one focus group being held in each Leicestershire district.

If you would like to attend a focus group and have your say in transforming services then please contact Liz on 0116 233 4243 to find out more.

Oadby Asda, Oadby and Wigston District - Wednesday 16th Jan 10.30am to 12.30pm - call Alison Cooper on 2718341 to find out more. 

Blaby Scout HQ, Winchester Road, Blaby District - Tuesday 22nd Jan 2pm to 4pm - call 2778998 to find out more. 

St Marys Court, Hugglescote, North West Leicestersire District - Tuesday 29th Jan 11am to 1pm - call Kaizad Johnston on 01530 454640 to find out more.

John Storer House, Charnwood District - Tuesday 15th Jan 10am to 12pm - call Ann Standing on 01509 631750 to find out more.

Atkins Building, Hinckley and Bosworth District, Thursday 24th Jan 10.30am to 12.30pm - call Robert Warwick on 01455 247070 to find out more.

Lubenham Village Hall, Harborough District -  Wednesday 6th Feb 2pm to 4pm - call Len Bale on 01858 462440 to find out more. 

Planning for your future – thinking about what things might help you as you get older

Residents of Leicestershire are being asked for their views on planning for the future, thinking about what their needs might be. Communities in Partnership would like to find out how older people can be encouraged to plan for the future, what barriers may be faced in doing so, and how to support older people in the community for as long as possible.

Get Involved

They will be visiting various groups and meetings throughout December and January. If you would like them to come to your group or would just like to be involved, please contact Harvey on 0116 229 3019.

To keep informed of all future engagement activity affecting you and those around you, join the Communities in Partnership Engagement Network now by calling 0116 234 1577 or email [email protected]

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Winter Newsletter - hot off the press!

The winter edition of our newsletter should be with you very soon, whether you receive it via email or in the post. 

In the meantime, you can read it right here online - including top tips for keeping warm this winter, a guide to Carers' Support Groups in the county and lots of news and events. 

Feel free to let us know if you've got any comments about the newsletter or you'd like to contribute to it - we're always looking for articles, photos, poems, recipes or anything else you've got in mind. 

We hope you enjoy reading this month's issue. 

Click here to take a look

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Autism event for parents

Leicester , Leicestershire and Rutland Autism Strategy Group is inviting parents and carers to an event about the new Autism Pathways on Tuesday 4th December from 10am to 12 noon at Curve, Rutland Street, Leicester, LE1 1SB. 

The event will be a chance to find out more about the new Autism Pathways and how they'll improve the diagnosis of autism in your area.

Plus, it'll be an opportunity to meet a range of Autism professionals and organisations whilst finding out about a new group launching at the event - the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Autism Champions Network. 

Car Parking is available at The NCP Car Park, Rutland Centre, 56 Halford Street, Leicester, LE11TQ .The cost is £3.90 when you get your ticket validated at Curve.

To help plan the event could you please email [email protected] if you plan to attend.

If you need any additional information please contact Martin Hall on 0116 305 3623 or email him as above. 

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Do you care for someone with an eating disorder?

If you care for someone with an eating disorder, you may like to know that there's a carers' group you can go along to for support - set up and run by carers, for carers.

The group is located in the Eating Disorders Unit at Leicester General Hospital - and regularly includes talks from staff who work within the unit.

The group is independent but is supported by Leicestershire Partnership Trust, Eating Disorders Service, Lamp, Rethink Mental Illness and Leicestershire County Council.

It meets on the third week of each month but times vary - please check the group's website to find out more or call Julia Ruck from Lamp on 0116 255 6286 or Lynn Redfearn from Rethink Mental Illness on 01530 276525/07918196126. 

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Do you care for someone with lung disease?

NHS Leicester City is consulting people who suffer from lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD) - and their carers.

If you, or the person you care for, would like to talk to the NHS about how it could improve services for people with COPD, they would be very happy to hear from you. 

Alternatively, you can complete a short survey. 

Your feedback will help to improve services and how the NHS diagnoses patients with COPD in the future, so it's well worth taking part in. 

Click here to complete the survey online
Click here to download the survey as a Word document

If you complete the Word version of the survey please email it back to [email protected] or post to Get Involved, Freepost RRUE JRBR RGGT, NHS Leicester City, St Johns House, 30 East Street, Leicester, LE1 6NB. (You don't need to put a stamp on the envelope as it's a Freepost address). 

To find out more please call Emma Cannaby on 0116 295 7662. 

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Anyone for tea? Fundraising event for new travelling tea room

You can help raise money for a great new project called The Travelling Tea Room on Tuesday 13th March from 9.30am to 12 noon at Lockwood's Tea Room, Allandale Road, Leicester. 

Entry costs just £3 which includes a cup of proper loose leaf tea and a slice of cake. 

All the money raised by the event will go towards setting up The Travelling Tea Room, which will visit people in residential care homes, nursing homes and community groups. The idea is to give people who can't get out and about easily the chance to enjoy the experience of visiting a tea room - complete with delicous tea and cake and the chance to enjoy a chat with friends. 

The fundraising event on the 13th will also include the results of a competition to make a tea cosy, a tea quiz and the chance to have your tea leaves read! 

To find out more about the fundraising event please call Leanne Wightman on 0116 2293035 or 07545208035. 

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Do you have concerns about Personalisation?

Do you still have concerns about Personalisation? Are you in control of your Personal Budget?

Leicester LINk is running an event for anyone affected by these issues on Thursday 16th February from 10am to 3.30pm at the Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living, 5 - 9 Upper Brown Street, Leicester, LE1 5TE.

Leicester LINk is a local organisation that helps to give people a say in how health and social care services are delivered in Leicestershire - especially people who use those services and their carers.

The event aims to make Choice and Control a reality - by giving you practical guidance and ideas about your Support Plan. 

Refreshment and lunch will be provided. 

To find out more and to book your place please call the Leicester LINk office on 0116 279 5075 or email [email protected]

Download a booking form 

Download the event poster for more details

Download an Access Needs Form

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Help shape your Local HealthWatch

As you know, the Government is planning to make big changes to the NHS. For example, responsiblity for making decisions is already passing from regional 'Trusts' to GP-led consortia or groups. 

To make sure that everyone, including individuals, get a say in these changes, Leicestershire is developing a Local HealthWatch organisation. 

If you'd like to find out more or get involved, you can go along to a HealthWatch Engagement Event on 14th March from 10am to 4pm at Voluntary Action Leicestershire, Newarke Street, Leicester. 

The event will be a chance for you to help shape Local HealthWatch and meet the organisations behind it, including Local Authorities and local LINks - umbrella organisations that bring together networks, organisations and individuals in Leicestershire to give them a voice in improving Health and Social Care Services. 

What will Local HealthWatch do? 

Local HealthWatch will ensure that everyone has a voice in how health and social care services are changing - including carers and the cared for. It will also feedback what local people need and want to GP Consortia and report concerns about the quality of local services to HealthWatch England for example. 

If you'd like to go along please call 0116 279 5075 to book a place or for more information. 

Click here to find out more on the Leicestershire LINk website

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Free Mencap seminar on Wills and Trusts - 19th March

Mencap, the UK's leading charity for people with learning difficulties and their carers, is holding a free seminar about Wills and Trusts at the Brite Centre, Braunstone Avenue, Leicester, LE3 1LE on Monday 19th March from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. 

The event will be a chance for you to find out more about how to take care of someone with a learning disability when you are no longer around, by making a suitable Will or by setting up a Trust. 

A local solicitor with experience of drafting Wills and Trusts for the benefit of people with a learning disability will be present, so this is an ideal opportunity to ask questions you may have regarding your current situation. 

Anyone is very welcome to just go along to the event, there is no need to book. 

To find out more about Mencap please visit the charity's website www.mencap.org.uk

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New health centre opens in Leicester

The Leicester Mercury is reporting that a new £5 million health centre has opened in Belgrave, Leicester following an eight-year campaign by patients for better surgeries. 

Two GP practices have moved in to the new Belgrave Health Centre and there are also plans to provide a range of clinics for children and adults to save patients travelling to hospitals. 

The centre also has an on-site pharmacy and will be a base for community nursing teams. 

It's thought the centre will cater for around 30,000 people. 

Read the full story in the Leicester Mercury

Have you visited the new centre yet? Please share your experiences with us to help other carers and the cared for. 

 

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Using music to enrich people’s lives

Excluded Ltd is a social enterprise based in Leicester that uses music to help people improve their lives in many different ways.

In particular, because the service is mobile and free of charge, Excluded helps people who would find it difficult to access similar services otherwise - making it ideal for both carers and the cared for.

Excluded offers people the chance to write, produce and even distribute their own music. It doesn't matter what type of music you're into either, the social enterprise has helped people create everything from hip hop and reggae to pop, classical and traditional music from different cultures.

Through its experience, Excluded believes that music can have some amazing benefits including helping to raise people's self esteem and motivation whilst stimulating brain activity. For both carers and the cared for, Excluded could help you to develop a new hobby and make new friends for instance. 

Click here for contact details and to find out more about the service. 

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Free convention on mental health services in Leicestershire

Organisations in Leicestershire have got together to organise a free convention on Thursday 22nd September - to give everyone living in the county the chance to have their say about how mental health services are changing. The event is open to everyone, especially those who can bring their experiences of mental health and mental health services. 

1 in 4 of us will experience mental health problems at some point in our life so make sure you're heard!

Go along to the Jungle Club, Checketts Road, Leicester from 9.30am to 4.30pm. 

The event is free to attend and will include a free buffet and refreshments. 

Take a look at the event poster for more details including how to book. 

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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.