Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities.
The theme of this year’s Carers Week is ‘getting carers connected’.
Throughout the UK, Headway groups and branches support not just brain injury survivors, but also their carers. Here are just some of the ways our groups support carers:
Nancy Khan, Carer Services Manager at Headway Birmingham and Solihull, said: “We support carers by offering a dedicated family Support Worker to help ensure all the right services and benefits are in place. We also provide regular carer support groups, social activities, family events and training sessions.”
Service-user and carer Ann, who attends with her husband Pete, said: “Headway Birmingham and Solihull have provided me with a lifeline.”
Headway Hertfordshire run a series of five Carers Workshops to educate carers about brain injury and its effects. The workshops are delivered by qualified Occupational Therapists and participants learn about the brain and its main structures, the consequences and problems associated with brain injury e.g. memory, concentration and behavioural difficulties, and learn practical strategies to help care for their loved one.
Kelly Sheppard, the Acquired Brain Injury Coordinator for Headway Ballymena facilitates a monthly carers support meeting. Whilst brain injury survivors are taking part in drama therapy groups it gives carers an opportunity to share their experiences and receive support.
Our family, friends and carers support group gives people a chance to share their experiences and help support each other to cope with the day-to-day challenges they can face.
Headway Huddersfield has meetings for carers and brain injury survivors to attend twice a month to relax and chat over tea and biscuits. There is also a full calendar of events for members, ranging from a day trip on a canal boat to a night out at the Ten Pin bowling alley.
Headway Derby are currently looking to develop the support offered to carers and have created a ‘brain injury hub’ to provide a ‘safe space’ for carers who can’t, or aren’t ready to, leave their loved ones with us completely. This enables carers to relax in the health and wellbeing hub, where they can work on their laptop or phone, read a paper, watch a movie, gain peer support or just sit and be calm for a while.
Headway Essex has made me whole again really. The carers group has empowered me. They have made me realise I am not the only one going through this.
Headway South Manchester and Stockport provide a 'buddy' scheme where carers can ring each other for a friendly ear at the end of the telephone. They also meet for a monthly cuppa!
“We are a strong happy family who are always there for each other!"
Headway Surrey holds informal monthly lunches – a time to talk to others in a similar situation.
“Family, close friends and carers are important and need their own space and time to deal with the affects of being with, and caring for, someone with a brain injury.”
If you are a carer who would like some additional support, or the chance to meet others in a similar situation to yourself, contact your local Headway group or branch to find out how they can help.
Visit In Your Area to find your nearest group.
You can also find out additional information about caring on our Caring for carers page.
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