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Charity of the month: Carers in Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 12:22 29 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:47 29 August 2017

Carers in Hertfordshire provide a wide range of services to unpaid carers

Carers in Hertfordshire provide a wide range of services to unpaid carers

Carers in Hertfordshire

Around a quarter of the estimated 100,000-plus unpaid carers in the county are registered with a Herts charity that works to give them a voice and support

A county-wide charity set up in 1995, Carers in Hertfordshire supports unpaid carers, whatever their caring circumstances or condition of the person in their care. There are at least 109,000 unpaid carers in the county – people looking after a loved one who is elderly, disabled, has a learning disability or mental health condition or who misuses drugs or alcohol. More than 24,000 carers – aged from five years upwards are registered with the charity.

‘Ensuring Hertfordshire’s hidden carers are identified, supported and stay well and healthy is at the heart of what we do,’ the charity’s health and wellbeing manager Carole Whittle explains. ‘We give carers a voice, with opportunities to meet other carers as well as share their views and experiences with those providing or planning health and social care services in Hertfordshire.’

Services Carers in Hertfordshire provides include:

• Free courses and workshops for carers – some providing skills to support their caring role, such as first aid and moving and handling people, others more interest-based such as crafts or sports.

• A Carers’ Passport Discount Card that gives financial support with discounts with a range of businesses in Hertfordshire.

• Carer planning and advice. Carers can contact a trained carer support advisor to discuss their caring role and any questions they may have.

• Carer support hubs run by carers for carers so they can find out about local help available to them. There are hubs in Bishop’s Stortford, Chorleywood, Hemel Hempstead, Hoddesdon, Potters Bar, Letchworth, St Albans, Stevenage, Watford and Welwyn GC. Three new hubs are planned this year in Ware, Buntingford and Berkhamsted.

• Activites and support for children in a caring role through the Young Carers Service.

Volunteer co-ordinator Julie Hayes says there are many ways people can help: ‘We have roles in our offices in Hertford and Borehamwood providing admin and reception support as well as those that involve volunteering in the community such as carer mentors and fundraisers. Whether you are available a few hours a week or month, or can help out occasionally, we’d love to hear from you.’

To find out more about becoming a Carers in Hertfordshire volunteer or supporter, or if you are or know a carer in need of advice or support, contact 01992 586969 or email contact@carersinherts.org.uk

The charity’s website is carersinherts.org.uk

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