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Working with partners to support local carers

We recently held a Drop-in Carer Aware Session at the hospice to raise awareness of the way we and the partner organisations we work with can support local carers.

Run as part of Carers Week earlier in June, our drop-in Carer Aware Session took place in the Connections Centre and Living Well Centre at our hospice. It gave our staff the opportunity to find out about the range of local support and equipment available to carers as well as learn more about our own carer support.

A great way to nurture relationships with local services, the informal session enabled our teams to chat with representatives from:

Visitors were also able to spend time with our own Carer Support worker, Steph Finch and find out about our services here at the hospice, like our Carers Drop-in information sessions* or our Telephone Buddy Service.

Liz Carter, our Wellbeing & Community Development Lead noted how the aim of the marketplace-style event was to raise awareness and develop our partnerships with these organisations, saying:  

“This event has made our staff more aware of local services and also how to access them through our Carer Support Worker. 

We will continue to nurture our relationships with the local services to make sure that our carers (be they partners, friends, neighbours, siblings, children) are supported to stay well themselves.

We want to say thank you to all of the stallholders who came to showcase their services.’” 

The event had some great feedback from both stall holders and attendees

Our Welfare Advisor Rosie Mercado said it was an ‘ideal opportunity to meet services who support our carers and see how we can continue to work closely with them’ and our Deputy Director of Care Services, Sam Farr said ‘it was great to have a buzz around the hospice and to see staff from all different roles and teams come together and be so enthusiastic about carers’.

Our new Director of Income Generation & Marketing, Paula McGoveney remarked that it was:

“great to see the Carer Aware Session and a real pleasure to meet some of the partners we’re speaking with. I had particularly interesting conversations with Action for Carers Surrey who outlined the huge number of services they offer to carers and MyCareMatters whose ‘My Future Care Handbook’** was such an approachable and lovely way to ensure those in later life and end of life have their decisions heard and wishes met.”

Action for Carers Surrey stand with Rachel Brennan

Fundraiser Cat Ferrer-Jempson, was also impressed by the resources offered by MyCareMatters, saying:

“I really enjoyed speaking with Zoe from Mycarematters and learning about their workbook, which supports people to make plans for later life.

I feel some of the stress after someone’s death or as they approach end of life revolves around unanswered questions for carers. For example, if organising a funeral, would their loved one have wanted this? Did they like the song we chose? Or if the patient is no longer able to make their own decisions, how do we think they would want to be cared for? Is this what they would have wanted?

Although discussing these things can be painful or sad, I think everyone should consider these kinds of questions (regardless of age) so people can know how to better plan to their loved one’s wishes.

There are some fantastic services out there that I wish I had known about when I cared for my father. I would urge any carers to reach out and utilise these amazing services.”

Zoe and the MyCareMatters stand

Here’s what some of our other colleagues had to say about the session:

“I’ve been an unpaid carer myself, and particularly as a young adult, it can feel pretty isolating. I thought it was great that the hospice held this session. It really helped raise awareness of the different types of support carers can access. Even as a previous carer I had no idea that there was an NHS Carers Health Team. Kate, one of their clinicians, explained this service helps carers improve and manage their own health and wellbeing. It’s great to know this valuable support exists and that the team works closely with other organisations like our hospice.”

Olivia Meheux, Fundraising Officer

“Having the opportunity to see some of the technology and equipment available to support people’s independence – and give their carers peace of mind – was really helpful for me, both personally and professionally.  I was so impressed with what support was on offer; from alarm pendants giving help at the touch of a button, to bed and chair sensors or devices that store and remind you to take your pills. It gave me an awareness of a range of technological solutions that could give reassurance to both patients and their carers. In fact, it’s given me some ideas that could hopefully help with my own parent and family situation.”

Francis Miles, Digital Marketing Executive

Some of the tech on offer to support carers

“I really enjoyed finding out more about the range of services on offer for the amazing carers in West Sussex and East Surrey. It was also fantastic to meet some of the members of staff from our local councils who are doing a great job trying to get the important message of carer wellbeing out there.”

Danielle Murphy, Fundraising Manager

*Our Carers Drop In Information Session is held on the first Tuesday of each month, 2-4pm in the Living Well Conservatory at St Catherine’s for patients and carers currently under the care of our hospice. Patients and carers can pop in for tea and cake, meet our Wellbeing Team, meet other carers and collect information about carer support services in their local area.

** Copies of the My Future Care Handbook can be bought online

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