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Improving lives

Care to join us?

Next week is National Carers Week (9 - 15 June) and Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has organised a range of opportunities for carers to shape the services available for them and get information, support and advice.

This year, Carers Week launched the Carers Week Quest – an exciting new initiative to encourage organisations and individuals in local communities to work together to reach out to carers.

Its aim is to reach out to the thousands of people who are missing out on services that can help them with their caring role.

To mark the week, the Trust - a Carers Week Quest Leader - will be providing information stands, running coffee mornings for carers and hosting events with local carers centres across Greater Manchester.

A new form that will allow carers to share information with staff about the person they are caring for has been launched by the Trust to coincide with Carers Week.

“The Information Sharing Form for Carers” was developed by a carer in Bolton who wanted to share their views and information with staff on a confidential basis. Carers of people who access any of the Trust’s services can complete the form so that their needs can be taken into account when clinicians are planning and delivering services.

The Trust will also be sharing information about what is happening in Greater Manchester and Lancashire and what services are available for carers during the week on Twitter and Facebook.

Carers undertake an invaluable service, providing unpaid care for family or friends. A study in 2011 estimated that they save the UK economy £119 billion.

According to the latest census, there are estimated to be over 280,000 carers in Greater Manchester.

Free courses specifically aimed at carers are being run by the Trust to give people a better understanding of the challenges they may face as a carer and provide them with advice and support to find new ways to tackle them.

The Caring with Confidence course sessions are three hours long and are being held from 10 July to 14 August 2014 at Eccles Gateway, 28 Barton Lane, Eccles, Manchester M30 0TU.

The course is run by the Trust’s Recovery Academy. To book your place or find out about upcoming courses visit www.gmmh.nhs.uk/recovery. Alternatively, you can email recoveryacademy@gmmh.nhs.uk or telephone 0161 772 3782.

The Trusts’ Carer Lead, Tracy Collard, is urging carers to get in touch to share their experiences caring for someone and their views on what support is available to them. Carers are encouraged to contact the Trust to share their stories by emailing carers@gmmh.nhs.uk or calling Tel: 0161 772 3935.

“Our carers give their total commitment to the care of their loved ones but often at a personal cost to their own health and wellbeing,” she said.

“By listening carefully to our carers and involving them in our work we can start to build up a picture of what they want and need, and how our staff can help and support them in their crucial role. We want to do all we can to raise the profile of the essential, but often hidden, army of people who care for friends, partners and relatives.”

“If you care for a loved one or someone relies on your help, please come along to one of the events or information stands, or just get in touch for a chat to see how we can help.”

A calendar of events across Greater Manchester and Lancashire for Carers Week 2014 is available here: Carers Week 2014 Calendar of Events [pdf] 189KB. Events include information stalls, afternoon tea celebrations and more.

To find out more about the Trust’s services for carers visit: http://www.gmmh.nhs.uk/carer-information.

A carer is defined as someone who provides unpaid support to a relative, partner, child or friend due to illness, disability, frailty, a mental health condition or substance misuse problems. Many people are carers without realising it.

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Notes for Editors

  1. Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) provides district mental health services in Bolton, Salford and Trafford. GMW also provides substance misuse services in Salford, Trafford, Wigan and Leigh, Blackburn with Darwen, Central Lancashire and Cumbria.
  2. GMW delivers specialist mental health and substance misuse inpatient services throughout Greater Manchester and the wider North.
  3. Across the UK 6.5 million - 1 in 8 people - are caring for a loved one who is older, disabled, terminally or seriously ill. As the population ages, the number of carers is rising fast.
  4. The North West has one of the highest numbers of carers in England with 781,972 people providing unpaid care (Office for National Statistics, 2011 Census data, Provision of Unpaid Care in England and Wales, 2011). In the North West, the number of carers has increased by 8% over the last ten years.
  5. In Greater Manchester there are a reported 280,299 carers, Lancashire has 133,213 and Cumbria has 56,495. According to the 2011 Census, 51.8% of carers providing unpaid care in the North West are in employment. 'Provision of unpaid care' covers looking after, giving help or support to family members, friends, neighbours or others because of long-term physical or mental ill-health/disability, or problems related to old age.

For media enquiries, contact the press office on 0161 772 3986 or email clare.thompson@gmmh.nhs.uk.

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