26th May 2017Category: Working Carers
West Cumbria Carers is a local charity but we are not the only one. There are lots of charities and support groups in the area that can provide help in lots of different areas. There are helplines too. We often work with other charities in the area to support carers and the person they care for. We can be seen at events such as the Older People MOT day, free health and well-being days and dementia alliance.
We all bring different skills and opportunities to the table. I know that if you are not in the world of the third sector, you may not be aware of charities, let alone the services they can provide. It can feel bit like stumbling in the dark when you need to find additional support out there.
I thought I would make a list of top 10 charity and support contracts in the area. They are in no particular order. Obviously working carers support loved ones with a wide range of health and social needs so I have a mixed bag of charities. It might be that you are already aware of a couple of them but this might be useful in the future or when you talk to a fellow working carer.
A well-known charity for the older people in our lives. They offer a range of charged services, social events as well as day centres, advice and shops. The services serve people over the age of 50 years.
Services such as cleaning, or a handyperson to come to your home as well as nail cutting and foot care advice. They also have trusted assessors which provide home assessments and advice on daily living aids and equipment. This is useful if the person you care for is starting to struggle to get around their home. They have dementia assessors as well, so they can advise on equipment which is more appropriate for their needs. This includes signage for different rooms or deep-coloured crockery.
They run a number of social activities including the community connections project which is tackling isolation and loneliness by a befriending service or being accompanied to a new group until they feel comfortable going alone. I personally think social isolation is very high in Cumbria so the more that can be done to tackle this, the better.
They have a page on their site listing all the social events in different communities. Click the link to see what is happening in your area: http://www.ageuk.org.uk/westcumbria/activities--event/social-diaries/
There are computer clubs, sports clubs and lunch clubs. There are lots of opportunities to talk, laugh and learn a new skill. More information through this link http://www.ageuk.org.uk/westcumbria/activities--event/social-activities/
There is a lot of information on their website, so if you care for someone over 50, it might be worth showing them what is available around them. www.ageuk.org.uk/westcumbria
Age UK West Cumbria operate a hotline on: 08443 843 843
Their main office for West Cumbria is based at: Old Customs House, West Strand, Whitehaven CA28 7LR
There is also a centre at Millom at the Bradbury Centre.
Tel: 01229 774 573
2. Citizens Advice Bureau
This organisation provides free, confidential and independent advice to help people overcome their problems. They have helped 2.7 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2016-17. They help with everything from money issues to problems at work, housing to consumer rights.
In West Cumbria there are offices based in Whitehaven, Workington and Millom, plus a number of outreach sessions in towns across the area. Information about the outreach locations can be found on the website. To find out information about what is available in Allerdale please click http://allerdalecab.org.uk/
Town Hall, Oxford Street, WORKINGTON, CA14 2RS
Tel: 01900 604735
For information about Copeland please click the link https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-we-provide-advice/advice/search-for-your-local-citizens-advice/local-citizens-advice-details/?serialnumber=100706
There is an office In Whitehaven:
Tangier Buildings Gregg's Lane (Off Tangier St) Whitehaven, CA28 7UH
Tel: 01946 693321
As well as Millom:
31 Wellington Street, Millom, LA18 4DG
Tel: 01229 772395
There is also a telephone advice line to call between 9am-4pm Monday to Friday: 03444 111 444
This is handy if you are unable to leave the office but need to chat about an issue.
There is also information about your rights at work on their website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/
3. Alzheimer’s Society
This will be a charity which I am sure many of you will know. They have been doing a lot of campaigning with the recent initiative of ‘Dementia Friends’ and #UnitedAgainstDementia. The charity have an office based in Workington.
The charity support people and their family with dementia as well as campaigning and research. In West Cumbria, they offer Singing for the Brain. This is an opportunity to meet others and sing songs (these sessions are based around the principles of music therapy). There are also dementia support workers who offer information and guidance to help people understand dementia, cope with day-to-day challenges and prepare for the future. They offer support face to face, over the phone or in writing.
Tel: 01900 607280
Office opening times: Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
DaCE is an organisation that has a range of services which are aimed at supporting disabled people to live independent lives. These include the payroll service and the 3rd party accounts and other services such as the provision of disability aids, welfare benefits advice and the CRB checking service all of which can help people be independent.
When I was a Social Worker, I worked with clients who had direct payments from Adult Social Care and DaCE helped quite a few of them. They were often used to hire a personal assistant for clients who were young adults with physical disabilities. This is because they wanted a paid carer which would suit their needs rather than adult social care organising it with care companies. The amount of money via Direct Payment is calculated from your personal budget as a result of an adult social care assessment.
DaCE's Independent Living Co-ordinators can help with recruiting staff (personal assistants) and assist with managing the staff once they are in place. Combined with the 3rd party account managing service (Independent Account Administration) they offer a comprehensive service for anyone wishing to set up and manage their own care package.
Even though the office is based in Carlisle, there are support workers for all areas of Cumbria.
Angela Woodburn is in the west of the county: 01946 825550
More information about direct payments from Carers UK can be found here: http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/practical-support/getting-care-and-support/direct-payments
5. West House
West House is a local voluntary organisation providing community based (and in the workplace) support services for adults and children with learning disabilities. They have six residential care services in total across Allerdale and Copeland, domiciliary and Supported Living services and activity based services including support to get into work. Community support services offers a wide range of support to people who require a higher level of support and individualised service provision.
You may have seen the organisation’s Café West. Their aim is to provide a real work setting where people who use the service of West House can acquire the necessary skills and qualifications to gain paid employment in the open market. I have eat a few times in the Whitehaven Café and the food is great and the staff are really nice to chat to. They now have three locations for the cafes, information can be found on this link: http://www.westhouse.org.uk/cafe-west/
Location: West House, 26 Stanley Street, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 2JD
Tel: 01900 67777
(Support Help Opportunities Understanding Trust)
Shout parent support group meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at Ewanrigg Community Centre, Maryport. They are not a condition specific support group and welcome all parent carers of children with additional needs/disabilities. The group have talks and workshops from a range of charities and groups.
For West Cumbria Carers, parent carers are a group of people we want to support more and parent carers can also be working carers. Finding groups of carers who are in a similar situation can be really helpful for advice and support because ‘they get it’.
Information can be found from their Twitter page: https://twitter.com/Shoutmaryport
7. People First
People First is an independent social enterprise organisation. They are supporting thousands of people every year to have their voices heard. The organisation supports adults who have learning difficulties to meet in groups, share their experiences develop life skills and learn to speak up for themselves.
If you care for someone who has a learning difficulty, they can help them:
There are other services such as the Care Act Advocacy and Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy.
Care Act Advocacy supports people to be fully involved in decisions about their care and support. Care Act Advocacy is a new type of independent advocacy brought in by the Care Act 2014 and it is a statutory service. Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA). This service supports people who have been deemed to lack capacity, to ensure that decisions are taken appropriately when they have no family or friends. Local Authorities and NHS Bodies have a legal duty to instruct an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate’s (IMCA) when making the following decisions for a person:
Location: The Best Life Building, 4-8 Oxford Street, Workington, Cumbria CA14 2AH
Tel/Fax: 01900 607208
This is a mental health charity which has an office based in Workington called Mind in West Cumbria. They provide advice and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve service, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health. The charity believe that a healthy body and good social links within the community do much to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.
They offer a variety of services to support the local residents including drop-in sessions, mental health advocacy, gardening project or even a dancing session if you fancy a boogie.
Phone: 01900 66518
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 10am-2pm
Sometimes in our lives, things are hard but there are times when everything becomes overwhelming and it gets on top of you. It can be a gradual increase of pressure and stress and before you know it, you feel stuck and alone. You might not want to tell anyone that you ‘can’t cope’ or ‘being a carer is something you just can’t do anymore but the guilt of saying no to the person you care for is too much’. Life will throw some nasty things our way, but maybe talking to someone who is not in your life may just help with moving forward. People associate the Samaritans with suicide but they are there for anyone who wants to talk.
Samaritans offer confidential and non-judgemental emotional support. They are there to listen.
There is the national telephone line: 116 123 (this number is free to call)
Or email (if you think it is easier to type it out: firstname.lastname@example.org
Locally there is a branch at Whitehaven:
22-23 Church Street, Whitehaven CA28 7EB
Telephone the branch: 01946 694 266
More information about containing them can be found here: http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you
10. British Legion
This charity is very popular and has the recognisable poppy appeal for Remembrance Day in November. From my experience as a Social Worker, I have had a lot of positive experiences from this charity. They have been able to support former serving personnel make changes to their home (stair lift, wet rooms etc) so someone can live more comfortably in their home. They also offer breaks and emotional support.
The charity supports a range of people:
•People who are serving or who have served in the Armed Forces - ‘Beneficiaries’
More information of who is eligible for support (especially who the ‘Beneficiaries’ are) can be found here: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/eligibility/
The charity supports those eligible for support in all areas of life from financial aid in an urgent crisis, help homeless ex-Service people get back on their feet, and offer careers advice for those looking to make a fresh start after leaving the Forces. They even have care homes and know the details around war pensions and compensation claims. There is a wide and varying range of services, more information can be found on: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/
Information for Cumbria can be found on the Cumbria page: http://counties.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/cumbria
There are a number of ways you can get information from the British Legion. There is the national Contact Centre Helpline on 0808 802 8080 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week (calls are free from UK landlines and main mobile networks) for all enquiries.
Locally there are outreach sessions held in various locations, more information can be found on http://counties.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/cumbria/outreach-services-may-2017
There are also a number of branches of the British Legion across the county, this page provides contact details for each one: http://counties.britishlegion.org.uk/counties/cumbria/contact-us/branches
On their website they have a knowledge database to search. They also have Live Chat on their website (you will be to create an account for this feature) from 8am to 8pm 7 days a week.
Circumstances change and needs change. If you have had a carers assessment you may have been provided with information relevant to your needs at the time but if your circumstances change, you know you can ask for a review and we can support you.