Monthly Archives: June 2014

Lewisham Carers Event 2014

On Tuesday the 10th of June 2014 I decided to take a trip to Lewisham’s Civic suite for the Carers day event which runs from carers week 2014.

lewisham civic suite

What is carers week?

carers-week-2014

Carers Week is a UK-wide annual awareness campaign which takes place from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 June 2014.

Being a carer myself for over 11 years, I feel an interest and a connection in raising carer awareness, although my role as a carer has been on mental health care.

I have actually been to the Lewisham’s reaching out to carers event 3 or 4 times, so I had some idea what to expect. Usually you would have numerous stalls, posters and flyers, some speeches, lunch and a wellbeing treatment room where you could get massage or other forms or relaxation.

All these things are critical for carers especially the number one thing being “Information”. What tends to hit carers the most is lack of information, be it information on what to do as a carer, information on getting support, information on looking after themselves or their caree (that being the person who they care for).

As I arrived at the “Reaching out for carers” event. I was greated by staff who are passionate by carers. One was off the Lewisham carer’s partnership board and I know he works very hard to raising awareness and services for carers in lewisham. The other staff who signed me in was the “Carers lewisham” youth worker.

goodie bag

I got my raffle ticket off the welcoming staff and also a goodie bag filled with
carer packs and information. There was quite a lot, so this impressed me.

 

 

Most of the day was spent wandering from stall to stall, although this year I did not talk too much to the other stall holders, but I saw the usual being “Lewisham Talking Newspaper”, “FORVIL stall (Vietnamese support for Lewisham Vietnamese residents”, “Lewisham IAPTs (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies” and several other stalls.

pic-1The main stalls I visited were the “Lewisham Carers” stall, SLaM carers information stall “SLaM” stands for South London and Maudsley trust and I visited and chatted to those holding the IAPTs stall.

 

To be honest I used to go to the “Reaching out for carers” event to look for information and I guess I still do at some point, but the main reason now is to reach out to carers, not because I can try offer any support, its mainly because I am still looking for that connection, I am looking for the network of carers. I usually go to carers groups in my borough which is Lewisham and I meet some familiar faces, but being a carer can often be a lonely role. It can be hard to be understood as carers battle for ever decreasing support.

This year’s carers event held over at Lewisham’s civic suite did not disappoint when speaking to other carers, I met a few who are well known to Lewisham on their caring role. I spoke to them on what they thought about the event and most were fairly happy. I asked them how they were getting along in their well being and caring role and things were improving as long as they themselves felt valued.

nhs self-care

I also did the same for the stall holders where I asked how they were in themselves and unfortunately some were ill. In my “mind” I thought what pressure are they under? Could it be service changes? could it be proving support to carers that might be demanding? None of the stall holders told me. However I do sympathize with most of them.

I did not stay too long at the event because I had to pop into work. Luckily I work part time to support myself financially and we ll get on to that another day because carers definitely need financial support, but this is lacking because they are busy caring.

Overall I was fairly pleased with the event and I wished I took more pictures. I hope to attend more events in future regarding carers or mental health events.

Mind of a Carer

matWelcome to my latest blog. This blog is about caring and mental health. To put it short, I am a carer of someone who has mental health difficulties of around 11 years on going. My journey has not been easy, far from it. I have had to make my own path and have made some successes, but also quite a few failures.

Still if you are a carer or starting our as a carer, what value could this blog site offer you? why read this blog? Personally I hope this blog creates a path where other carers can use and find something new that can aide them on their own journey. This blog also tries to support other causes along mental health themes, but I do hope it gives the reader pause for thought.

Embed from Getty Images

From my successes, I hope to share my thoughts as it will give you some comfort. From my failures I hope you can learn from them, so you will avoid such failures yourself. This blog will look to avoid blame on anyone or services because the best way forward is that carer, those with lived experiences and mental health practitioners work together.

My first blog will look to set the structure I hope this blog site will form.

About – Plain and simple, the about page explains what this blog is about.

Links – Interesting and useful links for carers or those with lived experiences

Mental Health – A page on looking after your own mental health as a carer

Most of my blogs will be added into categories

Thoughts – My thoughts for the day or depending on how often I post, you can agree or disagree.

Event reviews – I often visit events around South London and sometimes further afield, some are in another blog which is called “South London Health forum”.

Guest Blogs – These are blogs supporting this blog or visa-versa, because people might get fed up of hearing or reading my own views.

Campaigns – I work on certain groups and I sometimes might update others on here. Regardless if those are my projects or other people’s projects.

I am sure to add more categories or pages, but these will do for now.  I do hope you stay and have a look around, I am sure you will find something of use or interest.