We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in a bid to get lottery funding to enable us to run a project which will support carers in Swansea who have both caring responsibilities and are employed.
This is a massive boost to our work in the city and we are so glad that the Big Lottery has recognised the difficulties facing working carers. This project will seek to
• To improve the quality of life of working family carers who are disadvantaged by poverty
• To improve the skills of working family carers who are disadvantaged by poverty
• To improve working family carers knowledge of their rights, including employment
• To help more working family carers maximise their income
Our Director Ifor Glyn said “This new innovative project will support families and individuals and place them in a better position to take up caring / employment duties and address some of the hurdles facing these families. We cannot afford to ignore the needs …….and rights of carers. We have a responsibility to protect and support them and recognise the invaluable work they do in supporting individuals, but also maintaining the health and social care infrastructure in this country”
Watch this space for more news on this exciting new project.
We have also had continuation funding from ABMU to keep on with the important work that we do to reach out carers and offer them the information and support that they need. This funding means that we can continue to provide a presence in the local hospitals and keep new, current and former carers up to date with the services we provide.
Swansea Carers were chosen by the ‘Social Flag Project’ at Swansea’s Guildhall, to promote our free services for carers in Swansea. We want to give a big thank you to the Swansea Flag Project ‘Mr Flag’ and Swansea City Council for allowing us to fly the flag for carers.
Carers Week 2017
Swansea Carers Centre have celebrated Carers Week. The day offered a Bollywood dance Class, Holistic Therapies, and the Carers Choir.
Carers also had the opportunity to join in workshops including, jewellery making, bag designing and willow making. A big thank you for those who took part and attended our Carers Week. #BigCelebration.
Swansea Carers Centre’s Young Adult Carers Project hosted an event at Tapestri in Swansea. The event was to raise awareness of the Young Adult Carers Project which is for carers aged 16 to 24 years old to have break, try new activities, and get support and information.
Over forty people attended the event.Throughout the day there were workshops for the young adult carers to experience new activities. These included a self-defence workshop and a Chinese boxing workshop with local instructor Leigh Evans, who has studied martial arts in Japan.
“An amazing day! The creative workshops were so relaxing and fun.” and that it was “Really well organised. I feel I know so much more about what Swansea has to offer carers.”
Swansea Young Adult Carers Project runs a twice monthly youth club, and other trips, taster sessions and support groups, as well as one to one support and signposting for young adult carers. The young person doesn’t have to be the main carer in order to access support from the project. If you know a carer aged between 16 to 24 years of age who could benefit from support from the project, please contact Swansea Carers Centre on 01792 653344 and ask for Alex or Ruth.
Book club enjoyed their annual trip to Hay – On-Wye. The fourteen members who came along met for lunch at the ‘Old Stable Tea Room’ and browsed the book and charity shops in the town.
Unveiling our mosaic
During a Carers Week event in June, carers were invited to contribute ideas to design a mosaic which would hang in the reception of Swansea Carers Centre. From the various thoughts and images, a design emerged. This morning at the Carers Centre the mosaic was finally unveiled. Mary Hayman, the artist who helped create the mosaic spoke about how the project evolved and gave an explanation of each stage of the project. Entertainment was provided by the Singing Break Project. Congratulations to all involved!!
Bringing Gower Home session
We ran a digital photography session with carers in the Gower – thanks to Melanie & Ben for funding &running it.
Over 40 carers and professionals attended the Information and Evaluation Event of the Social Services & Well-being Act at the Waterfront Church. Speaker, Professor Luke Clements was guest speaker and CARP organised the event which included workshops. CARP will put together an evaluation report of the day.
July’s Book Club was once again well attended with carers and former carers. We are now holding it at the Environment Centre, Pier St, Swansea (in the cafe – lovely coffee). This month’s book was ‘The Road to Little Dribbling’ by Bill Bryson. Next month we are hoping that local author Tracey Rees will pop along to the book club and discuss her knew book ‘Florence Grace’ with us.
ABMU placement – We now have one worker at Morriston Hospital every Thursday speaking to staff and carers about our services. So far, it has proved worthwhile with many referrals coming through. We also have 2 volunteers, Debbie and Ann who are based at Singleton Hospital every Tuesday.
Job Club – Through our Active Inclusion project Life Skills2 we are now holding a Job Club at Swansea Carers Centre helping carers (25+) gain employment skills, job search, interview techniques etc. Every Wednesday 10am – 12pm.
Two new carers activity groups have proved popular with carers – Debbie’s Beading Group run by our volunteer Debbie is held once a month (beads and equipment must be paid for) and the Knitting Group where carers come along for a ‘knatter and knit’.
Message fro Nicky Stonelake, Volunteer Co-ordinator “I think most of you know that I am retiring at the end of July. It has been a privilege to work for this charity, but now I am looking forward to more free time for myself and my family.
I have been involved with the Carers Centre from 2000 to 2005 and from 2011 to 2016. It has been very rewarding to meet so many lovely volunteers, to help them grow in confidence and to see some of them progress to higher education or paid work.
As a carer myself, I am very grateful for all the time and commitment which volunteers have contributed over the years. I am also grateful for the support I have received from the Trustees, who paid my salary out of reserve funds when there was no other funding available. It has been a pleasure to work with 3 Directors, who were all very wise and compassionate people. And last but not least, a huge thank you to my colleagues. The never-ending supply of tea, coffee and good humour has always lightened the work load.
With many thanks and best wishes, Nicky
Training Update – Introduction to Mindfulness was held at the Environment Centre. This course has proven time and time again to be very popular and successful with carers. On 26 July we are holding a 1/2 day ‘Introduction to Mindful photography’ so watch this space for the photographs.
Plans are well underway for next week’s Carers’ Week 6-12th June. We have so many information stands around the City:- Sainsbury’s, Morriston and Singleton Hospital, the local colleges, Civic Centre to name a few. Pop in and speak to our staff or just pick up some information. We have been putting packs together this afternoon! In this heat too!
As usual it was a very busy and successful Carers Week. Our Caring for Carers Well-Being Day on Thursday 9th June was attended by over 100 carers and professionals who came together at the Scout & Guide HQ to enjoy a day of relaxation, information and activities. “I massage my autistic son and daughter every night. It was lovely to experience nurture myself. Yoga and mindfulness help me during the challenges facing me as a carer!” said one participant
“This event gave me practical advice and assistance, knowledge for my role and a knowing that there is help
available!” said another
Carers getting a chance to relax
Prior to this year’s event Carers were asked to put forward nominations for professionals who have gone the extra mile and made a real difference to them in their roles as unpaid carers.
A wide variety of nominations were received for professionals working across a range of partner agencies.
(The photograph shows Left to right: Cllr Paulette Smith; Hayley Dardecker (Star Services); Byron Mearday- Family Information Service; Sister Melanie Davies-Ward G, Morriston Hospital; Dr Lloyd-Swansea University Health Centre; Michelle Jones, Princess Street Surgery; Kath Protheroe-Trehafod; Karenza Cassidy-Peer Advocate; Sandra Spratt-SCVS; Cllr Erika Kirchner).
After a troublesome few months our website is now up and running and now we can start updating our Blog!
March ended with two new groups starting at the Carers Centre – Knitting group and Bead making. The Bead making group is run by Debbie Fillis who kindly provides the bead making equipment.
The knitting group has attracted knitters of different abilities coming together to knit, share patterns and expertise as well as socialising together.
New staff – We are delighted that we have recruited new staff members who will be in post from May.
They are: Richard Chiplin – Finance Officer Alex Atkins – Young Adult Carer Project Manager
Ruth Hegarty – Young Adult Carer Worker Daniel Mathias – Advocacy Administrator
Charlotte Dyer – Advocacy Worker. We look forward to them joining our team.
Life Skills 2 Project
This project will provide tailored and confidential support and information on learning, training and employment opportunities to unpaid carers aged 25+. The project will offer friendly 1 to 1 advice and information, career guidance, form filling and help with job applications, CV writing skills and interview practice, Skills assessments and help finding the right job plus volunteering opportunities. If you are a carer aged 25+ then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
First Aid training
Staff and volunteers attended a 1 day Emergency First Aid training course at Alpha Training. Some of the staff were renewing their certificates whilst others had never attended 1st Aid training before. Everyone agreed it was an informative day with plenty of opportunity to practice those tricky bandages and, of course, CPR using the Annie dolls!
Unfortunately we had our site hacked at the end of November and therefore we have been unable to post anything in our Blog. The site is now back to normal but please bear with us if some of the links are still not working.
December began on a really positive note. Our funding bid to Carers Trust to continue the Young Adult Carers project has been successful, this means that we will have a 14hr project manager post and a youth worker post from April 2016 for 18 months.
One of the most entertaining events so far this month has been the beginning of a ‘twinning’ project with Cork Carers. The aim of the project is for carers on both sides of the Irish Sea to become ‘pen pals’ via Skype and Facebook. Our first link with Cork was entertaining, they were very engaging and we even ended up with a sing a long! We look forward to maintaining this relationship!
Project Cariad, our Lottery funded training and development project organised the ‘Ballroom Blitz’ at Hazel Court just before Christmas. With the help of ‘TAN Dance’ carers danced, jived, waltzed around Hazel Court. It was brilliant!
As usual we started the month with 12 carers enjoying a FREE holistic therapy. Many thanks to Kim, Jean, Dawn and Linda our volunteer therapists who give up their time each month to treat carers to a massage, craniosacral or reflexology therapy.
This month sees the start of our 6 week Stress Control course. This popular course is designed to help carers understand the causes of stress and anxiety and learn techniques that will help you deal with them.
This month we celebrated 10 years as an independent charity at the Waterfront Church, SA1. Over 70 carers and professionals who attended the event were treated to entertainment by Pen-y-Bryn school choir, Boyd and his African drummers and Stuart who, along with some audience anticipation, treated us to a medley of harmonised singing. Directors of Swansea Carers Centre, past and present, spoke about how the Centre evolved into the successful charity we have today.