Two organisations which operate North Yorkshire County Council’s carer support service have announced improved help for those who assist family and friends in support of Carers Rights Day.
Since July the council’s carer support service has been operated in the Harrogate, Craven and Selby areas by Carers’ Resource and Carers Plus Yorkshire has provided similar services in Scarborough, Ryedale, Hambleton and Richmondshire. Carers Plus Yorkshire emerged as a result of a merger between two organisations which previously provided similar services.
The council and its carer support colleagues are actively supporting the annual Carers Rights Day today (November 24) to help draw attention to the wide-ranging assistance carers can call upon.
However, both Carers’ Resource and Carers Plus Yorkshire are making changes which should further improve the way they can help carers.
Carers Plus Yorkshire is launching a Rights to Respitality programme of respite through hospitality with afternoon tea sessions in Leyburn and Northallerton and a film showing in Scarborough. It is also asking carers to help shape a programme of opportunities and to understand what respite means to carers on a day-to-day basis.
Carers’ Resource is launching a new website designed to improve the support it can provide to individuals on the day.
To support that it is inviting unpaid carers to a series of drop-in events at its offices in Skipton, Harrogate and Selby from 11am to 2pm offering the chance to learn more about the website and ask advice on dealing with the cost-of-living crisis.
Chris Whiley, the CEO of Carers’ Resource, said: “For Carers Rights Day this year, Carers’ Resource will be officially launching the charity’s new website as a key source of help and support for carers.
“Our new website is a one-stop shop for all unpaid carers, of any age, across the Bradford, Harrogate, Craven and Selby districts. This means carers can find out more about their rights and the support available to them, at any time of the day or night. They can easily register with us or request support online.”
Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones, said: “I have met with Carers’ Resource on several occasions including opening their new office earlier this year.
“I am proud to support their work and I hope that the launch of the new website will provide the help and support needed for carers in Harrogate.”
Elizabeth McPherson, the chief executive of Carers Plus Yorkshire, said: “Respite does not have to always mean a holiday or time away – it can be as little as a break from the routine of the every-day. A hair-cut, a coffee with friends, a meal out together, a walk round the park, a surprise cinema trip.
“We know the power of finding ‘time for yourself’ or time doing something different with the person you care for.
“Respitality is about us helping to make this more possible. Over the coming weeks and months we will be building a number of bite-sized opportunities and offers with colleagues from the hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors across North Yorkshire.”
One activity the group offers is Stepping Out which is a walking group which allows carers to ‘switch off’ and enjoy each others’ company while walking in Scarborough.
The need for the support it offers is highlighted by the fact that around one in 10 North Yorkshire residents act as carers for relatives or friends. Around 6,000 of those are young people some still at school.
The Carers UK charity has recently published a State of Caring report which reveals the cost-of-living crisis is now a challenge for more than three-quarters of the carers it questioned. A quarter of those asked said they were already cutting back on essentials like food and heating.
Information on ways to help cope with cost of living issues is available online, at https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/cost-living-support.
Those who look after someone who could not manage without help have a right to have their needs assessed. A carer’s assessment will look at the care provided and how that affects the carer’s life. It will consider what the individual wants to achieve, such as work, training, social activities and wellbeing. Find out about a carer’s assessment at https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/carer-assessment.
Carers emergency cards are also available to identify individuals as a carer, so in the event of an accident or other emergency the authorities can step in to offer emergency help. Find out how to request a carers emergency card at https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/carers-emergency-card.
Unpaid carers have a right to request flexible working, time off in emergencies and parental leave from their employer. Details are available from carers centres or the Carers UK website at https://www.carersuk.org/.
The Carers UK website also includes information about benefits which could be available to both carers and those they help, with details available at https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/get-resources/looking-after-someone