Blackpool Carers are thrilled to have been awarded a one-off capital grant of £5,000 from The Clothworkers Foundation to support carers and their families during this extremely difficult time.
The grant will enable us to co-ordinate urgent response packages for carers, tailored to their changing needs during the pandemic. The most pressing needs are those of sustaining life through adequate food provision and household items alongside responding to crisis situations such as replacing vital equipment that may be needed including household appliances that are particularly crucial for families to remain healthy and function well.
Alongside the basics, we are also mindful of carers needing distraction and stimulation in the face of a prolonged period without face to face respite provision and contact with others. Many carers have spoken about how activity packs, basic technology such as tablets and gardening equipment would really help them to maintain a sense of self outside of their caring role. Access to technology will also greatly improve many of our older carers opportunities to connect with their support workers and other carers through group calls and access to our online support services.
We are now moving our thinking to bring together a co-ordinated response to basic essential needs that will provide carers with assurance of access to a range of resources that will maintain their health and well-being within these particularly vulnerable households during this time.
After safely consulting with our carers, three key strands of life that families need immediate and longer term support with, were identified and have formed the basis of a new service response to complement our existing support offer. These are
- Stay safe and healthy – provision of food, household items such as washing and cleaning products and toiletries.
- Stay mind and body active – gardening equipment, art and craft kits, special interest magazine subscriptions and books.
- Stay connected – access to tablet technology to keep connected with others including support services, family and friends.
These key support strands will help carers of all ages to maintain, not only their caring roles, but also their own health and well-being, positive family functioning and recovery from the current situation. They also encompass the fundamental ethos of Blackpool Carers to ‘make a better life for carers’ in ensuring that families basic needs are met, social isolation is reduced and carers health and well-being is safeguarded.