New Carers Clinics With funding from the ABMU Penderri Network we begun holding our Carer Clinics at GP surgeries throughout the Penderri cluster.
“This new service enables carers to easily access information that can help them in their caring role.” said Emma Daniels, Senior Project Manager “For us, it is an opportunity to promote the services we offer to carers in their community and to get a greater understanding of carers issues.”
The next Carers Helpdesk will be held on Monday 27 March – Fforestfach Surgery – 9.30 – 12 noon.
Mind, Body and Spirit
Our new 2 year Carers Training Project, funded by the Henry Smith Charity & the Community Foundation in Wales, has started. Ali, our Training Co-ordinator has put together a mixture of training for your Mind, Body and Spirit. Get in touch with Ali and book your place.
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
It’s September and we are officially in Autumn. Our Autumn training programme is well underway with a 6 week African Drumming course beginning on Tuesday 8 September – 1pm-3pm. Click here to find out further information about our courses.
We were delighted that Digital Stream, a Sustainable Swansea and Natural Resource Wales initiative, invited carers to take part in an afternoon of digital photography at Penllergare Woods. They were accompanied by a photography tutor Dai Power, and an environment officer – they even supplied the cameras!
The Carers Book Club enjoyed their annual day trip to the historic town of Hay-on-Wye. Once again we were lucky with the weather as we strolled around the town browsing in an out of book shops. Our lunch at the Old Stables Tea Room was exceptional; well worth a visit if you are in Hay (particularly for their Gower Brownies:)
This month we welcome Alex Atkins to our team. Alex is the Young Adult Carers Worker (16-25 year olds). She has already organised a programme of meetings for young adult carers at EYST, click HERE to find out more.
Invitations have gone out to carers and professionals to attend our AGM and 10 Year celebration. If you are a carer in Swansea and you would like to attend then contact Linda at email@example.comCLICK HERE for details of the event.
This month saw the start of Open ‘Armonies, the new Community Choir for Carers, Friends and Supporters run by Stuart Jones. Stuart has already run two successful Harmony Singing courses for us, so we are very glad to be able to support this new & exciting venture! We hope that the choir will bring carers and friends together to enjoy all the fun and rewards of harmony singing in a creative, supportive space. You won’t be asked to read music or sing solo. It doesn’t even matter if you think you can’t sing! It’s for everybody. The choir takes place on Monday evenings in Llangyfelach, for more details please contact Stuart Jones 01792 367600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Boyd is leading our African Drumming sessions once more on Tuesday afternoons, and last Thursday Wenda from the Style Team showed a group of carers how to wear colours to reflect style personalities & increase confidence! Plus our Mindfulness and Yoga courses have filled up really fast, but please do let us know if you are interested, we will put you on the reserve list and contact you if it runs again.
Thankfully the sun came out for our day trip to Tenby with the carers book club at the beginning of the month. It was a lovely, relaxing day for everyone who came, we all met up for lunch in the Baytree restaurant (highly recommended) and caught the train back to Swansea. We are now looking forward to our annual visit to Hay-on-Wye in September.
Meanwhile Project Cariad has been busy organising their Autumn training programme. Click Here to book your place! These courses are very popular with carers so make sure you book soon.
10th Anniversary – This year we are celebrating ten years of the Carers Centre being an independent charity. We are currently planning an AGM/Celebration which will be held on Thursday 8 October. Invites will go out shortly.
Sainsbury’s Local Charity of the Year –The staff at the Swansea Marina store have been so enthusiastic about raising as much money as possible for carers in Swansea. We have already held our first fundraising weekend and collected over £300! Our next weekend will be the 4th, 5th and 6th September so if you are near Sainsbury’s call in and see us. Some of the staff at Sainsbury’s along with a team from the Carers Centre have signed up to run the Swansea Bay 10k in September.
We ran training in August for 15 working carers at the DVLA in Stress Control and had excellent feedback.
We began July with the fantastic news that we are officially Sainsbury’s (Swansea Marina)’s local charity of the year. Many thanks to everyone who voted for us, it will make a huge difference. Sainsbury’s staff are keen to get involved with Swansea Carers Centre and raise funds and we look forward to working with them.
As usual on the first Monday of the month we held our Holistic Therapies sessions, giving carers a much needed treat and a bit of ‘me time.’ One carer commented afterwards, “I feel amazing, so relaxed. The whole experience was such a treat. More please! Thank you all so much for giving up your time to enable this to happen for me!”
Also during the first week we held our monthly Book Club for carers and former carers. This support group has been running for over 5 years and keeps getting bigger and bigger with new carers joining us for mutual support, a love of reading and good company! We have planned a trip to Tenby in August as well as our annual pilgrimage to Hay-on-Wye.
June, the official start of Summer and for us of a very busy month of celebrations.
The first week of June is national Volunteers Week. A week when we recognise the contribution volunteers make to society. At Swansea Carers Centre we certainly value our volunteers – without them we simply could not offer the services we do. Nicky, our Volunteer Coordinator organised a visit to the Grand Theatre, Swansea for a ‘backstage tour’ followed by a cream tea as a big ‘Thank You’.
Volunteers enjoying their tour of The Grand
The second week is Carers Week! This year we have been promoting our services everywhere! On Monday staff from the City & County of Swansea, ABMU, Crossroads Young Carers, SCVS picked up banners and information packs and staffed information points all over the city, from Central Library to Gorseinon Development Trust via Singleton Hospital, Cefn Coed Hospital and Gower College to name but a few.
Stand at Swansea Central Library
Two members of our staff, Christine and Fleur were invited to Sainsbury’s to ‘pitch’ for a chance of being named their Charity of the Year. We were delighted to hear that we are down to the last three charities. Voting will continue until the end of June. We hope we can rely on your vote. www.sainsburyslocalcharity.co.uk
We ended a very successful Carers Week with an event at the Waterfront Church – ‘Building Carer Friendly Communities’ attended by carers and over 30 charities and statutory organisations.
Working in partnership once again with ABMU to promote the ‘Health Passport.’ This a new initiative from ABMU is a communication tool which displays information by using a traffic light system to help carers of a child, health professionals and those dealing with your child to rapidly understand your child’s health needs, likes and dislikes, etc. so your child is safe and comfortable in health care settings. Read more about the initiative here
Our Caring Break Service based at Ty Conway in Penlan were thrilled to receive £1,000 from Persimmon Homes West Wales. The money will go towards developing a sensory garden at Ty Conway and also installing a ramp so that wheelchair users can work and use the garden too. For more information on replacement care and respite for carers Click Here