CARERS in Hammersmith and Fulham are invited to events across the borough to celebrate Carers Week 2012, which begins today and runs until Friday.
This year’s theme is 'In Sickness and In Health', aiming to highlight the impact that being a carer can have on a person’s health and wellbeing.
Carers often struggle to find time to take care of themselves and, as a result, can develop issues with their own health.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council has a full week of activities planned to give carers in the borough the chance to meet others in similar situations, find information from the council and other local organisations, and to have a good time.
The programme was drawn up with the help of carers who already use council support services. They offered advice and suggestions for events, such as free heath checks, an organised walk and drama workshops.
Councillor Marcus Ginn, the council's community services leader, said: “This year’s Carers Week is full to bursting with events that are not only informative and useful, but also fun. It is a chance for our carers, who work incredibly hard and often do not make much time for themselves, to have a break and relax.
“It is also a great opportunity to meet fellow carers, learn of their experiences and pick up some helpful tips along the way. We hope that this week shows just how much the council values and appreciates all that carers do in this borough.”
The week kicked off today with a carers’ coffee morning at the Irish Centre in Blacks Road, Hammersmith, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
Tomorrow (Tuesday), from 1pm to 4pm, the Grove Neighbourhood Centre in Bradmore Park Road, Hammersmith, will host a workshop to build skills and confidence, called ‘Not a Care in the World’. It will incorporate fun games and exercises for unpaid carers to let their hair down and meet other people in similar situations. Tea and coffee will be provided, and there are around 15 places still available on a first come, first served basis.
The main event on Wednesday is an information day, running from 11am to 3pm at the Irish Centre in Blacks Road, Hammersmith. Carers will be able to speak to professionals and agencies that work with carers every day.
Help will be on hand from staff at the council's H&F Carer Support Service, which helps carers find information, advice, group support, health advice and respite to ensure their emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing are supported.
There will also be representatives from the benefits team, the Promoting Independence team, who can advise on occupational therapy, assistive technology and community equipment, and the Supporting Your Choice team, who deal with support planning and personal budgets.
Health trainers will be there to talk about exercise and healthy living plans, as will representatives from organisations such as CarersUK, H&F Mind, H&F Mencap and Job Centre Plus.
There will also be free therapies, such as massage, available on the day and lunch and refreshments will be provided. Anyone who regularly provides care, or is intending to provide care, to someone in need of support, can take part.
For more details on Carers Week including full event listings, and for more information on the carer support service, visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/carers or contact the team on 020 8753 4616, or Freephone 0800 996 1754 or email email@example.com.