Do you know that if you are a carer, then you are doing something not only for your ‘cared for’, but also for the community. Caring for someone when life can be difficult for yourself should be celebrated. Thats why London ADASS, which stands for Directors of Adult Social Services aimed to put on a festival for carers. The aim of London ADASS is to improve adult social care across London and to identify ways of doing this as cost-effectively as possible.
The festival was developed and brought together by many other carer organisations who help plan and run the festival. The first London borough to have the Carer’s festival was the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Eventually each London borough will have the honor of running the festival each year.
The festival took place on Saturday the 21st of September over at the Bromley by Bow Centre on a lovely warm sunny day. We expected well over 500 to attend and join in on the community spirit. I arrived just around the start of the festival to be given a tour by one of the stewards who was friendly and approachable. The festival was split up in 9 zones and I explored all of each zone.
The first Zone could be heard some distance away, because that was the DJ with also stage performances. The next Zone was the Crazy gold area where families and unpaid carers could relax and take their mind off things. We also had in Zone 3 the food stalls, which were amazingly cheap in prices. I actually bought myself a burrito.
The next Zone, being Zone 4 was the eating area where I relaxed and did some reading off my mobile phone, while also chatting to another host at the event. Eventually I explored Zone 5 where there were stalls helping to raise the awareness of unpaid carers in the community. I visited the Carers UK stall. Then moved on to the Stall hosted by Havering Carers Hub and another stall from Carers of Barking & Dagenham.
Here is some more information from the stalls I visited.
Eventually I wandered into the Barn Area, which was Zone 6 and I was greated by the carer facilitator who runs the Carer forums over in Croydon. She also helps run carer support groups and educational carer awareness events, so I was surprised to see her at the Carers festival helping out.
I took the time to join in some Arts and Crafts which was run by ‘Carers First’. Carers First provide information, advice, guidance, emotional support, training and activities. They also help give carers an opportunity to have a break from their caring role. They charity covers a wide area including Kent & Medway, Newham, Waltham Forest, Haringey, Essex and Lincolnshire. I was amazed at the work they do and how accommodating they were in helping others join in the activities.
In Zone 7 was the community hall which had performances going on through the day. Plus Zone 8 was the quiet area and Zone 9 being the first aid and Disabled facilities.
So what events took place while I was there? I took some to listen to the music and poetry from Sarifa who is a carer champion and activist who campaigns on disability rights. I noticed there was some laughter therapy going on at the festival, but at the time I was still exploring what was going on.
It was great that some members from the carer forums I run also turned up the the festival and I hope some will update the group next Tuesday over in Lewisham. The festival pulled in much the community spirit and it was great to watch the Royal Air force Cadets doing their drills and helping out at the festival.
Later on at the festival we got to hear from the Islington Council Singers, which are a choir that have been around for many years. We also got a dance act from disabled ladies from the Muskaan group. The group was formed around in the early 1990’s and focuses on empowerment and personal development. While watching the group, i was inspired to explore a stall promoting the ‘Asian People’s Disability Alliance’. They provide support and services for disabled and elderly in Asian communities as we know Tower Hamlets is a diverse area.
You can check out their link below.
I could not stay on for the rest of the festival since it started at 12:00 noon and finished around 5 or 6 pm. I did hear there was more poetry and choir groups, plus I missed a chance at Zumba and other discussions at Zone 7.
All in All, i enjoyed spending time at the first Festival dedicated to carers and also the community. Unpaid Carers do a lot for who they are emotionally attached to, it is about time carers are celebrated as being part of the community.
Thanks for ‘Carers First’ for providing some pictures. Check out more about Carers First Link below.
Thanks for stopping by!!