Torbay’s health and community services will support unpaid carers, including young carers (under 25s), at a family-friendly event at Paignton Library on Saturday 19 November.
Unpaid carers are family members and friends who support someone with a disability, health or age-related condition, mental health, drug or alcohol issue.
There are more than 18,000 unpaid carers in Torbay but not everyone sees themselves as a carer or are aware of the support available to them. This is especially true of young carers, some of whom are as young as five.
The carers information and celebration event takes place from 10.30am to 2pm alongside the library’s Christmas market. Anyone who is a parent carer, a young carer, a young adult carer (16-25), cares for someone in hospital with dementia, mental health, a learning disability, or is someone who is affected by someone’s drug or alcohol use is invited to find out what support is available to them. There will also be advice for carers who are worried about the cost of living crisis.
Carers will also be able to get their COVID-19 booster or flu vaccination, and learn more the equipment needed to support people’s caring role, and free MP3s to support people with dementia, how to become more confident with technology, and keeping healthy.
There will be live music, entertainment, activities, world food tasting, and if you sign up on the day or have a Carer’s Card, you will get a free coffee and cake.
The young carers under 25 strategy and action plan for 2022-25 will also be launched by some of our young carers.
Katy Heard, carers lead, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Often people support family members or friends but don’t realise they are carers. It may be supporting ageing parents or neighbours, a family member with drug or alcohol issues, a young carer affected by a parent’s mental health, or parent carers of someone with a learning disability or ADHD.
“Four out of five people don’t see themselves as carers, and end up missing out on support. Getting the right practical and financial help to take a break or manage the costs of caring is hugely important, so we just need everyone to be carer-aware.
“This is a great opportunity for people to come along and find out more about carers rights and support, as well as having an enjoyable day.”
Gill, who is a carer, was supported by Torbay’s Carers’ Service. She said: “At a time when I was really vulnerable, there was someone there who just got it. Someone who understood what I was going through without any judgement or sympathy – anything like that. It was just a case of yes, we get it. What can we do about it? How can we help you? Is there anything we can support you with?”
Georgie, who is also a carer, also spoke about what has made the most difference to her. She said: “I didn’t realise I could get help with things like hospital parking. Just knowing that there are people I can talk to so when I’m going through a period where I think everything’s getting on top of me, there are people and places I can go to offload.”
Visit Torbay Carers Service website for details about support and the event. (www.torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk/services/carers-service/).