Category Archives: Aimed at Carers

Blog posts aimed at non paid carers caring for someone unwell.

Wellbeing skills for Carers, Families & Friends – Kingston

For carers over in the London borough of Kingston. There are sessions aimed at unpaid carers which are informal and friendly. The sessions give practical ideas and tips, based on the latest scientific research to increase resilience, improve wellbeing and manage stress and anxiety levels better.

Please see poster below for more information or contact communitylearningkae@kingston.gov.uk

There is also a link below and the scan code

https://bit.ly/KAE-CLcrc2223

New online Carers rights course by Matthew McKenzie

Hello Fellow carers. I have now practically finished developing my online course for those caring for someone.

This course can be accessed via the courses section off my website.

The third course is on Carer’s Rights, which is such an important topic to millions of unpaid carers out there.

The online course covers the following with over 4 HOURS of content!!!

  • Your rights as a carer
  • Human rights
  • What things carers usually complain about
  • How to complain as a carer
  • Whose is responsible for carer’s rights
  • Support from employers when caring
  • Carer wellbeing under carer’s rights
  • List of different acts and laws
  • Complaint escalation ladder
  • Carer’s Assessment
  • Tackling confidentiality.

If you are a caring for somebody and do not know what your rights are, then this is the course for you. Only £2!! Or just email me

Watch out for more online courses, which I will be developing very soon.

New carer identity course by Matthew McKenzie

Welcome carers. I am soon about to launch my first online learning course aimed at carers. I thought to try challenge myself to work towards the field of lecturing online and it had to be a course aimed at carers.

The course “Carer Identity” covers the following

  • What is a carer?
  • Why be identified
  • Stigma and labels
  • Holding to account
  • Whose job is it to identify carers
  • Types of carer identification systems
  • What happens after Identification and more

The course can be accessed by clicking on the course section off my website.

Carers Week 2022 – Being Valued and supported.

Welcome one and all, especially fellow carers.

So it is now the start of Carer’s week 2022. A week I have been waiting for all year and I hope you have as well. What is so special about Carer’s Week? It is a chance to use your experience of providing unpaid care to stand up and be counted for your efforts.

Carer’s Week is a collaboration of many charitable organistions seeking to make life easier for millions of carers around the country. The UK has been through difficult challenges over the years with the COVID-19 situation and now recently the cost of living. We also have the revamp of the mental health act and the new health and social care bill, which seeks to make the systems fairer to carers and those they care for.

However many carers around the country are wary of new laws and bills and to be honest unpaid carers have not come well off from past laws. It is so important the government, local authority and health providers seek engagement from unpaid carers regarding new bills and policies.

Going back to carers week, there are many themes and campaigns taking place. The latest one is on the “A Recovery and espite Plan for Unpaid Carers” There is an open letter to the prime minister signed by seven CEOs of major national charities.

  • Helen Walker, Chief Executive, Carers UK
  • Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK
  • Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive, Carers Trust
  • Sally Light, Chief Executive, MND Association
  • Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB
  • Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive, Rethink Mental Illness
  • Jacqui Cannon, Chief Executive, The Lewy Body Society

The theme for carers week 2022

Each year, carers week has a theme to highlight the importance of unpaid carers and the challenges they go through. This year is no different and the theme for this year is “Making caring visible, valued and supported”. So why such a theme this year?

Personally it is well known that carers can end up being hidden because they are caring behind closed doors, but there are other reasons for carers to be hidden. Not many people think they are caring and just get on with it, some feel that caring carries stigma and to make matters difficult, health and social care systems often fail to identify carers. It is known that even if a carer is identified then there is always a risk that the carer can slip through the net. The reason for this is caring heavily relies on the relationship to the “cared for”, especially caring for mental illness. If that relationship fails then caring can be at risk and the carer could be at risk.

What about being valued? Is caring valued in society? Is caring valued in the community? To be really blunt about it, I am afraid caring suffers from being valued. Society does not deem the sacrifices others have to pay to care a worthwhile endeavour. It could be that people are compelled to care and that in itself could be the reward, but that reward is countered by the harsh challenges carers have to face, especially financial. Unpaid carers put so much on the line that they themselves risk their own health and wellbeing. It is so important we not only value carers but the importance of caring itself.

What about being supported as a carer? Many carers complain health and social care systems fail to support them. The risk is if the support for the carer is lacking, then this can cause a trickle down effect to the patient or “cared for”. The risk is the patient suffers at the end of the day because the carer is not getting that vital support.

I call for ALL carers to use this week as an opportunity to stand up and be counted, be diplomatic in your efforts, but make yourself known and be proud you have been there all this time to give a care. We are not asking much, just only to be identified, valued and supported.

Just to note, I will be doing a Share & Learn session at Carers UK. I wish to share my knowledge of the experience of care regarding ethnicity, mental health and carer wellbeing using my poetry. If you are a carer, see the link below to book

https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/get-support/share-and-learn-online-sessions

Carer Poem : The Journey by Matthew McKenzie

Welcome everyone especially unpaid carers. I am preparing a lot of things for Carers Week 2022. It looks to be an exciting set of activities for carers and those that work with them across the UK.

I am also been busy working on my new book for this year. It is a poetry book on the experiences of providing care to those suffering mental illness. This is from the perspective of an unpaid carer.

Here is one of my latest videos on the Poem “The Journey” and also a reflection of that poem.

The poem is from a book I am working on is called “The Poetry book of mental health caring” as you can see from the cover below

The Poetry book of Mental Health Caring

I am hoping to release the book on Amazon this year, perhaps around the Autumn, but it is not just a book containing poems. The book will ask readers to reflect regarding the nature of the poem. One of the NHS trust’s I talked to felt it could be useful for training, even though a lot of focus is on unpaid carers to reflect on the nature of the poem and how it could help them.

Anyway, I am hoping to blog more of my poems soon.

Mental Health poem by Matthew McKenzie

Welcome to my latest blog post. It has been a while since I have uploaded a poem. I have written close to 65 poems on the carer experience since the start of this year. Slowly a fair number of poems will be uploaded to my YouTube Playlist. The poems will play by themselves.

Plus I have added some podcasts of my poems

My latest poem is called “Confusion”

This poem is quite dark, but tells an often all too familiar story where the carer is trying to care for someone who has relapsed into mental illness. There are no beds or resources for the person who is very sick and thus the carer is confused on what to do. She will stick it out and try and cope as she watches her ‘loved one’ descend into madness.

Confusion by Matthew McKenzie

I sit and wait wondering what is next
Too scared to look at whats before me
The phone sits on the table, i am not sure who to call
I just dont know…I have tried before

The sounds…so distressing, so much is on me
but time is going so slow as my mind torments me
I look at him as his eyes look straight past
My heart sinks as my mind is harassed

Minute by minute..hour by hour
Not a word heard or a form of contact
I sit and wait wondering whats next
confusion takes me and I cannot find the solution.

Look after yourself – Carer poem by Matthew McKenzie

No one ever told you that you will be doing this
Yet here you are trying to cope
Trying to care

No one ever told you how much you both will suffer
Yet you are are trying your best
Being there

No one ever told you that things could go wrong
And yet each day you struggle
hoping the illness to disappear

No one ever told you about the sacrfices
Yet you will keep sacrificing
Year after year

No one ever told you about the future
Yet you are putting it on the line
facing it with fear

No one ever told you that you was a carer
Still caring?
Look after yourself.

The thin line of Patience – Carer Poem by Matthew McKenzie

This poem is number 9 of the new book I am working on regarding the experience of care expressed as poetry.

I am looking at that clock again
Tick tock, tick tock
The sound is driving me crazy
Tick tock, tick tock

His in the ward again, being detained
It has been weeks now, and I am going insane
All these thoughts rushing through my brain
Wondering when if things will ever be the same

I think I will sit down and watch the TV
Maybe if I put something on, the time will pass easy
My brain hurts and my stomach is queasy
Oh when will they ring, so someone can inform me

While the TV is on, its only been 20 minutes
Nothings good worth watching and I am hitting my limits
The sound of that clock, its making me fidgit
Maybe I ll head out and see him on one of my visits

Oh I don’t know. Why am I doing this
I rang them ages ago, something is amiss
I grit my teeth, have a frown
Something needs to turn around
No one is calling
My heart is falling
My patience is gone and I am about to start bawling

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust – QI Improvement Showcase Event

Welcome fellow unpaid carers and families. With my involvement in local accute hospital NHS trusts. I have news of a great event that will be of interest. Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust are to launch their Improvement Showcase event for 2022. It will be open to all and be run virtually over Zoom. There will be national speakers presenting and also opportunity to hear about the great local improvements happening around health inequalities, patient co design and more.

Click on picture below for more details

The thin line of Patience – A poem by Matthew Mckenzie

Hello everyone. As you can probably tell from my website. I focus on the experience of providing unpaid care, especially regarding those suffering mental ill health. I am in my poetry phase and am to get a large number of poems off my YouTube channel.

My latest poem, which is rather short looks into how mental illness can be catching, perhaps not as bad as what the poor patient is going through, but unpaid carers are not signing and jumping for joy.

You can view my latest poem by playing the video below.