Derbyshire Carers Association Blog

Welcome to the blog of Derbyshire Carers Association

About us

Derbyshire Carers Association was founded by Gerry Fryer in 1988 following circumstances which found him in the caring position as described by himself here.

Once he realised how little support there was for Carers Gerry aimed for and met his aspiration for Carer support provision.

With the help of some other Carers, Derbyshire Carers Association gained it’s first paid employee in 1989, this has now grown to over 30 dedicated and passionate employees as well as a large number of volunteers.

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  • Healthwatch Derbyshire’s Spotlight on Carers Event

    Healthwatch Derbyshire’s Spotlight on Carers Event

    Save the Date:
    Healthwatch Derbyshire’s Spotlight on Carers Event

    When: Thursday 10th October 2019

    Where: Belper Town Football Club
    Nailers Events & Conference Centre, Christchurch Meadows, Bridge Street, Belper,
    Derby DE56 1BA (Ample parking available)

    Time: 12.30pm – 4.00pm (Light refreshments available)

    This year they were pleased to publish their carers report, “Understanding the quality of life for carers in Derbyshire”, and it is this report that has formed the theme for their annual event.

    They will feature an overview of the report, along with guest speakers talking about their experiences of being a carer, and also professional speakers discussing their work with carers.

    If you are a carer and would like to join them at this event, please complete the registration form in the attached pdf.

    There will be stalls to browse at intervals throughout the day. A light lunch will be served, following which the AGM will commence. During the AGM, participants will have the opportunity to input their top three priority areas to improve health and social care services across Derbyshire.

    Please note, places are restricted and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Healthwatch booking form

  • Carers in Employment at Chilwell

    Carers in Employment at Chilwell

    Today we had another successful Carers in Employment event at the Haveli Restaurant in Chillwell Nottinghamshire.

    The event was to help employers understand how to support working Carers within their workforce and understand the impact of their Caring responsibilities.
    Scott Knowles from the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce was our key note speaker, Scott explained the benefits to businesses of supporting their staff who are Carers and the valuable skills Carers can bring to their job.

    There are more than 3 million people who currently have work and caring responsibilities within the UK. 1 in 9 of a workforce in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire has unpaid caring responsibilities at any one time. This work results in British businesses’ and the UK economy potentially saving up to £1.3 billion a year (www.gov.uk). It is approximated that giving them support to manage unpaid caring alongside their paid work would benefit them, their families and their employer.
    Since launching The Carers in Employment project last year, DCA have now recruited over 100 businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, all of which have signed up to their Carers Pledge. The pledge states that each organisation has to nominate a key member of staff (Carers Champion) to attend regular events and training sessions that detail information to help support both the Carer and the employer within their organisation. DCA will review HR policies and procedures to enable employers to offer different levels of support within the workplace. Examples of this could be:

    Flexible working hours
    Access to a telephone
    Car parking space at/near work
    Working from home
    Unpaid and paid leave
    Career breaks
    Organisations that have introduced flexible working and special leave arrangements for Carers have judged them a success. Their message is: it makes business sense to care for Carers.
    The flexible supportive approach:
    Attracts and retains staff
    Reduces stress
    Reduces recruitment and training costs
    Increases resilience and productivity
    Reduces sick leave and absenteeism
    Improves service delivery
    Produces cost savings
    Improves people management
    Increases staff morale

    If you’re organisation would like to be part of the Carers in Employment project and sign up to our pledge then please get in contact on Tel: 01773 833833 or E-mail: employers@derbyshirecarers.co.uk

  • Young Carers at John Port Spencer Academy

    Young Carers at John Port Spencer Academy

    Last week as part of Carers Week the Young Carers team delivered workshops with students in year 10 and year 12 at John Port Spencer Academy.

    This is the launch of our new Young Carers Champions programme, training the school’s prefects so that they can take the lead raising awareness of young carers in their school.

    The students explored what a young carer is and how the role might affect them.

    They then agreed on actions they can take as a group to promote conversations about young carers through their role as prefects.

    The students were fabulous and we’re excited about the project and being involved with the school.

  • Take a Break Chesterfield

    Take a Break Chesterfield

    Carers week kicked off in Chesterfield with the Take a Break event for Carers Organised by Derbyshire Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) Engagement Forum Carers Project, LinksCVS and Derbyshire Carers Association.

    Carers were treated to a delicious lunch before settling down to hear some speakers on Carers support that is out there.

    Throughout the afternoon there was craft making and massage on offer which Carers were able to take advantage of.

    Derbyshire Carers Association supports unpaid Carers across the City and County to help them continue with their caring role.

  • Relaxation and Pamper day in Derby city

    Relaxation and Pamper day in Derby city

    Carers week kicked off in Derbyshire with a relaxation and pamper day for Carers in Derby city.

    The carers enjoyed workshops aimed at promoting self-care.

    They engaged in a guided meditation to help calm the mind and an aromatherapy workshop where they created their tailored essential oil blends to help energise or relax, taking away with them a roller ball bottle and bath salts to help aid self-care.

    One of the Carers Pauline has this to say about the day “All the staff were very nice and helpful, soap making was my favourite activity as I learnt a new skill which was fabulous, the food and venue was very good and the massage was nice too”

  • Volunteers Week

    Volunteers Week

    It’s volunteers week and here at DCA we would like to say a big thank you to all our volunteers, without whom we could not do the work we do with Carers.

    One of our wonderful volunteers Yvonne has this to say about volunteering
    “Really enjoying my role as a telephone befriender and hope the scheme goes from strength to strength.
    Everyone in the office has made me feel very welcome and valued!”

    Odi has been volunteering with us for 3 months and is a great asset to the team, she has this to say “I have more confidence and I’ve developed my skills. If you are looking for a volunteer job, I recommended Derbyshire Carers Association.”

    We have a wonderful opportunity for a telephone befriender to help those carers that are lonely and isolated.
    Follow the link to find out more …..

    #VolunteerWeek

  • Free tickets for Carers and their family to Derby Book Festival: Create Your Own Happy

    Free tickets for Carers and their family to Derby Book Festival:  Create Your Own Happy

    Friday 31st May – Free tickets for Carers and their family to Derby Book Festival:

    Create Your Own Happy at Deda Theatre Déda, Chapel Street, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3GU

    Based on her book Create Your Own Happy, join author Becky Goddard-Hill for a fun, interactive session aimed to give your children some ideas and effective tools to help them increase their happiness and enhance their self-esteem!

    They will learn how to shape their lives and the lives of other around them, giving them confidence for the everyday challenges of life and school.

    Age guidance:
    recommended for ages 7-13 and their parents.

    Booking essential ring 01773 833 833 to book a place

  • Living with a long term condition

    Living with a long term condition

    A participant from Erewash said;
    ‘It opened my eyes to other paths and ways of improving my quality of life’
    Local GP said;
    ‘I have had excellent feedback when I have referred people and they have all benefited in some way from attending the course’

    NEW DATES

    People from across Derbyshire with a long-term health condition are substantially benefiting from the courses which are supporting and encouraging participants to self-manage their conditions more effectively to live fuller more meaningful lives.

    They have courses starting in May and June in Clay Cross, Eckington and Staveley

    Please see below their timetable for all of the LWLTC courses taking place across Derbyshire from January 19 through to November 19. They still have availability for all the dates listed below but are filling places fast so if you have, or know of patients who are interested in attending please refer to them as soon as possible

    Start Dates Time Location
    Thursday 9th May 19 13.30 – 16.00 Tesco Community Room Clay Cross
    Tuesday 28th May19 10.30 – 13.00 Ilkeston Fire Station Derby Road Ilkeston (FULL)
    Monday 3rd June 19 11.00 – 13.30 Eckington Library Eckington
    Thursday 6th June 19 12.30 – 15.00 Staveley Fire Station Staveley
    Wednesday 18th September 13.00- 15.30 Salvation Army Hall Long Eaton
    Tuesday 24th September 19 10.30 – 13.00 Alfreton Library Severn Square Alfreton
    Wednesday 25th September 19 10.30 – 13.00 Swadlincote Fire Station Swadlincote
    Friday 27th September 19 10.30 – 13.00 Bolsover Library Church Street Bolsover
    Dates to be confirmed – Sept 19 Matlock
    Thursday 10th October 19 13.30 – 16.00 Tesco Community Room Clay Cross
    Wednesday 23rd October 19 13.00 – 15.30 Dronfield Library Manor House High Street Dronfield
    Dates to be confirmed – October Amber Trust Ripley
    Tuesday 5th November 19 10.30 – 13.00 Buxton Library Bank Road Buxton
    Thursday 7th November 19 13.30 – 16.00 Chesterfield Fire Station Spires Walk Chesterfield
    Friday 8th November 19 12.30 – 15.00 Ilkeston Fire Station Derby Road Ilkeston

    The FREE six-week programme is delivered one day a week for 2.5 hours. It aims to support people with a long- term health or medical condition, to maintain their health and improve their quality of life. The course has been designed to help people with chronic or long term illness regain as much control over their physical and emotional wellbeing as possible. It compliments existing health care programmes and treatments, empowering participants to be more informed and take back control of their lives.

    Topics covered include healthy eating, relaxation, appropriate physical exercise, dealing with pain, fatigue, stress and depression, and communicating effectively with friends, family and health professionals. It also provides a forum to meet with others and share experiences.

    The LWLTC Programme is for anyone who has one or more long-term health conditions such as asthma, arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), depression, diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart disease, sickle cell, HIV, ME/chronic fatigue, chronic pain or any other condition. The course is also available and has proved to be beneficial for carers of someone with a long term condition. The programme is delivered by two volunteer tutors who themselves live with long-term conditions and can give practical advice based on their own life experience.

    Feedback has been great. People have said that the programme has really helped them to feel more positively about life, as well as advising on practical changes they can make to improve their wellbeing.

    What people who have attended the courses say
    • Great course able to share thoughts and feelings with like-minded people
    • This was an excellent course providing a variety of strategies to help me live more effectively with a long term condition with all its accompanying problems and ongoing symptoms and issues. Both the tutors were brilliant and worked well together as a team.
    • Course tutors Caring, Effective and always Positive
    • It has helped so much and the tutors deliver the course in a fun and interesting way. I have learnt a lot
    • It was good to meet people with the same problems due to their health and discuss these things
    • I feel ready now to look for a job
    • Due to this course I am more inclined to go out and Socialise with strangers as I have more confidence and have made friends

    For further information or to reserve a space on one of the courses please return the referral form or alternatively you can contact them at; kziglam@citizensadvicesouthderbyshireandcity.org

    Tel: 07487 257187 or 01283 210107

  • Derby Book Festival Competition

    Derby Book Festival Competition

    Can you write about ‘Our World’ in up to 50 words?

    That is the challenge they are setting for their 2019 Fifty Word Flash Fiction Writing Competition. They are looking for stories of up to fifty words, as calculated on the website entry form (excluding the title). You can interpret the theme of ‘Our World’ in any way you wish, but your work must be original, and it must tell a complete story.

    There are three age categories – 11 years and under, 12 – 17 years, 18 years and over. There will be one winner in each category. A panel of experts will judge the entries and each winning story will be illustrated by a local illustrator, Evelyn Hunter, and printed on Festival bookmarks, which will be used to promote the Festival.

    There will be a prize for each category of a £50 Waterstones book token.

    The closing date for the competition is 10pm on Wednesday 8 May 2019.

    All entries must be submitted online using their website form, which can be found on the Derby Book Festival website:
    Website Link…

    Last year’s competition (on the theme of ‘If Only’) attracted around 500 entries and they look forward to receiving even more this year.

    If you need some tips on Flash Fiction, take a look at some previous winning stories, which they hope will inspire you to enter!

    A year younger

    If only I was a year younger, I wouldn’t be here, bound to this mud clogged trench waiting to die. I wouldn’t be cursed to lie looking at the shells arcing above, will one hit me today? Or will my heart be pierced by their cold steel bayonets, if only…

    Bobby Derbyshire

    Worlds

    “Come with me,” he said, “and I will show you worlds.” And he did: lapis palaces and red rock caves; deep sea trenches and coral gardens; wind carved deserts and disappearing ice. When he died he left me his books. Now I travel the pages alone and think of him.

    Sherri Turner

  • Carers in Employment

    Carers in Employment

    Derbyshire Carers Association – Carers in Employment Initiative

    Derbyshire Carers Association hosted an employment event at the stunning Locko Park in Spondon. The event was to help employers understand how to support working Carers within their workforce and understand the impact of their Caring responsibilities.

    There are more than 3 million people who currently have work and caring responsibilities within the UK. 1 in 9 of a workforce in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire has unpaid caring responsibilities at any one time. This work results in British businesses’ and the UK economy potentially saving up to £1.3 billion a year (www.gov.uk). It is approximated that giving them support to manage unpaid caring alongside their paid work would benefit them, their families and their employer.

    Since launching The Carers in Employment project last year, DCA have now recruited over 70 businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, all of which have signed up to their Carers Pledge. The pledge states that each organisation has to nominate a key member of staff (Carers Champion) to attend regular events and training sessions that detail information to help support both the Carer and the employer within their organisation. DCA will review HR policies and procedures to enable employers to offer different levels of support within the workplace. Examples of this could be:

    Flexible working hours
    Access to a telephone
    Car parking space at/near work
    Working from home
    Unpaid and paid leave
    Career breaks

    Organisations that have introduced flexible working and special leave arrangements for Carers have judged them a success. Their message is: it makes business sense to care for Carers.

    The flexible supportive approach:

    Attracts and retains staff
    Reduces stress
    Reduces recruitment and training costs
    Increases resilience and productivity
    Reduces sick leave and absenteeism
    Improves service delivery
    Produces cost savings
    Improves people management
    Increases staff morale

    If you’re organisation would like to be part of the Carers in Employment project and sign up to our pledge then please get in contact on Tel: 01773 833833 or E-mail: employers@derbyshirecarers.co.uk

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