Charity launches new carers service

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Carers juggling a job and the demands of looking after someone are the special focus of a Harrogate charity’s new service.

Carers’ Resource, based in North Park Road, has been awarded Big Lottery Reaching Communities funding for the four-year CReate programme – Carers’ Resource Employment and Training Enterprise.

The charity supports unpaid carers in Harrogate and district who, without payment, provide support to a friend, neighbour or relative who would not manage otherwise because of frailty, illness or disability.

This newly-funded service aims to help carers to stay in work; support them to manage their working and caring responsibilities; to help carers in finding a job or returning to a career; or boost their skills and confidence.

The service works with local employers in Harrogate, Craven and Bradford districts to increase awareness and understanding of carers’ issues and to encourage the adoption of carer-friendly policies.

Carers’ Resource Director Chris Whiley said: “This is a very exciting start to 2017 and this funding means we can now work more closely with carers who are struggling to maintain a working and caring balance in their lives.

“We can help them find the right solution and strategies to continue to stay in work, while also having a positive caring experience.

“Becoming a carer can happen suddenly, or it can creep up on you gradually as the person you look after’s condition can worsen, and in both cases many can find they are struggling to carry on working.

“For some reducing hours, speaking to their employers about flexible working or the possibility remote-working arrangements, can be a solution, whereas for others it may mean changing roles or even taking time out from work.

“Whatever the situation – as no two situations are ever the same – the CReate team will support and help carers to find a solution that suits them best at that time.

“Caring can be overwhelming, demanding and exhausting, and we know that about 50 per cent of carers have had to give up their job to look after a relative or friend.”

The service will be offering a range of workshops, courses, one-to-one mentoring, and support groups to help carers develop and learn new skills, such as guidance and support in writing CVs and job applications; interview techniques, and job-seeking assistance.

Mrs Whiley said: “This builds on the success of our initial CReate programme, and for the first time there will be this special focus on supporting carers who are combining work with caring responsibilities.”

For details visit www.carersresource.org or contact CReate Team Leader Jenny Sengel on (01423) 500555.