Carers Lewisham AGM 2014 Review

Matthew MckenzieWelcome back to another of my blog posts. If you do not know already, I tend to blog about caring, especially caring for those suffering mental ill health, if I am not blogging about caring, then I review events on psychiatry, psychology or sociology, if not reviewing events, I help on mental health promotion and also review the odd audio lecture.

 

 

However this particular blog post is about the Carer’s Lewisham Annual General Meeting. This AGM took place on the 7th of November 2014 over at the Methodist Hall church in Albion Way.

Methodist Hall church

The Carers Lewisham AGM was about the recent developments Carers Lewisham have been up to, plus a chance to hear from 5 carers talking about their journeys as carers and how Carers Lewisham has helped them.

Before I continue, what exactly is Carers Lewisham? What do they do? Here is one of their videos about Philip the young carers advocate.

Now continuing about what Carers Lewisham does.  Taken from their site. Carers Lewisham supports Carers in the London Borough of Lewisham from aged 5 upwards. They provide a range of services including advice, information, emotional support, breaks, opportunities to meet other carers, time out from caring activities such as relaxation days and well being sessions; coping strategies, specialist support for parent carers, carers of people with dementia, carers of people with mental health problems, older carers and carers who are caring for someone who is nearing the end of their life.

So you see Carers Lewisham does a lot for carers and as a carer myself, all this help is appreciated, considering that us carers are often unappreciated at times. I was so pleased with all the support Carers Lewisham has given me over the years, I was more than happy to be one of the 5 carers to do a talk at their AGM.

I will not go into too much over the Carers Lewisham AGM, but what tends to happen there? Well basically we get the minutes from the previous year’s AGM. We then got to ask questions on any matter’s arising. Members are provided with the previous years Annual Report and Audited Accounts from the previous year and we get to hear any other business.

It has been a difficult year due many cuts in services and I am sure a lot of other charities are facing similar difficulties, so Carers Lewisham was no exception. I know they have been working very hard on behalf of carers like myself who also face a tough time almost trying to survive.

However from the past year, Carers Lewisham have still been very busy and have done several outstanding Achievements. They have gained the ‘Center of Excellence Award’ from Carers Trust. Carers Lewisham have also developed their social media communications and their Ebay shop is going strong. Plus they have supported hundred’s more carers and saved carers thousands of pounds of legal fees by helping them with Power of Attorney’ forms.

Carers Lewisham have done all this and more. You might have noticed I often blog about other carer centers, but being since I am from the London Borough of Lewisham, I ll always have Carers Lewisham close to my heart.

After the AGM was finished, the guests and members at the Methodist Hall Church got to hear from 5 carers stories about their journey. I felt so privileged to tell my story and journey, I felt the day was quite special to me, even though deep down my heart aches with sorrow for who I look after.

Matthew Mckenzie

Every carer who spoke at the AGM about their journey struggled to hold back their emotions, all the 5 carers let the audience know how much their caring role has affected them and how Carers Lewisham has sort to get them through a difficult and challenging role.

Another carer story told was from Kevin Wheelan who told the audience about who he is looking after and how difficult the journey was for himself. Kevin has been active with many organisations and groups. I could say that Kevin is a great spokesperson for carers.

Kevin

Overall I felt the AGM went rather well and it was with sad regret to hear the CEO of Carers Lewisham Diana Jones is to leave the charity after some months. The reason why? She is compelled to care for her close relatives.

Diana Jones

I have known Diana many years and from what I have seen and will remember of her is that smile and putting carers close to her heart.

Here is a video below with some hints and tips from Diana.

Going back to my story, I said the usual things about my journey, but if I have not thanked all the staff at carers Lewisham then I do apologize, I have special thanks for Jey Siva who has helped me through the most difficult periods of my life.

Jey Siva

Jey has attended meetings with me and advocated on my behalf, even outside her working hours. You could say both Jey and myself have walk the journey together.

Who knows what the future may bring on our caring journeys, but one thing will always remain is that I will never forget the great support Carers Lewisham has provided for myself.

Here’s to the great memories and adventures to come.

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