An NHS trust will take part in a series of events across Norfolk and
Suffolk next week to celebrate Carers Week.
They include four “picnic in the park” events, an afternoon cream tea and a
“tea and cake drop-in”.
Many of the activities have been organised by carers leads working for Norfolk
and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) whose role is to support carers looking
after loved ones with a mental health condition.
Carers Week, which this year runs 10-16 June, 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 throughout the UK.
Diane Hull, NSFT’s Chief Nurse, said: “The love and support that carers provide,
often alone, is priceless and, unfortunately, too easily overlooked.
“That’s why it’s so very important that we celebrate what they do. Holding
events like this, and marking Carers Week, is like saying ‘thank you’, because
the support they provide, helps us all.
“On a daily basis and without complaint, they put their own needs to one side
while they care for people close to them – and looking after someone with a
mental health condition can be challenging. It takes a lot of courage and a lot
“I hope these events show how much we appreciate the vital caring they do,
gives them a well-deserved break and makes them aware of the services that can
help and support them, such as our Trust’s network of carers leads in Norfolk
and Suffolk to support the people who care for others in our communities.
“I hope they know that they do not have to do this alone and that we appreciate
all that they do.”
Events in Suffolk
A "picnic in the park" for carers will be held in the Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds, on Monday, 10 June, 12noon-2pm. For more information, phone Julie Williams, Carers Lead, Bury St Edmunds South, on 01284 733188.
A “picnic in the park” will take place at Christchurch Park, Ipswich,
on Tuesday, 11 June, 12noon-2pm and there will be a fish and chips event between
the same times on Thursday, 13 June at a beach hut in Felixstowe
that will include a seafront ride on a road train. Carers wishing to attend
either event need to book in advance by phoning any of the three following NSFT
Carers Leads: Jay Chandler 01473 341100, Eddie Cross 01449 745200 or Neil
Broadway 01473 279200.
There will also be a “picnic in the park” at Kensington Gardens, Lowestoft,
on Thursday, 13 June, 12noon-2.30pm, for carers and families, which will be
hosted by the Waveney Community Mental Health Team. As well as Trust staff,
representatives from other organisations, including Suffolk County Council,
Suffolk Family Carers, Citizens Advice and Sue Ryder, will be on hand. Carers
and families will have an opportunity to try out tai chi.
Events in Norfolk
NSFT will take part in the Carers Information Day at The Forum,
Norwich, on Monday, 10 June, 9am-3pm, which is being organised
by the Care for Carers support organisation. The day is designed to help
carers, the cared for, ex-carers, older people, the lonely and the vulnerable.
Among those attending from NSFT will be Pip Everett, one of its carers leads,
Sita Wilkerson-Roe from the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS);
and carers who look after people with a mental health condition.
Many organisations and companies will be involved, including Norwich Family
Carers, The Alzheimer’s Society and the British Red Cross, and there are
expected to be more than 70 stalls with information about services for carers
and their families. Admission is free.
Two events will be held in West Norfolk to give carers an
opportunity to take a break from looking after loved ones.
On Tuesday, 11 June, 10.30am-1pm, carers are invited to join NSFT staff in the
grounds of Oxburgh Hall, Oxborough. Admission will be free
and complimentary refreshments will be provided.
The following day, Wednesday, 12 June, a “picnic in the park” will be held in The
Walks, King’s Lynn. Carers, who are being asked
to bring their own picnic and blanket, will meet at the bandstand at 12noon.
Katrina Squires, NSFT Participation Lead for West and North Norfolk, said the
main purpose of both events was to give carers a break but staff from NSFT
teams and third sector support organisations would be on hand to talk about the
help that is available. To promote the benefits of health and wellbeing of
carers, there will be taster activities such as relaxation, meditation and
yoga. Anyone wanting more information should contact Katrina by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, a pilot will be launched during the week which will involve
members of NSFT’s dementia care and older person teams, such as nurses and
support workers, teaming up with mobile libraries to reach the more remote
corners of West Norfolk. The aim is for carers to build connections in their
local community to reduce isolation and loneliness.
The family and friends of current and recent inpatients at Hellesdon
Hospital are invited to a “tea and cake drop-in” at Harnser
House at the hospital on Wednesday, 12 June, 2pm-4pm, which will include a free
nail bar and hand massages. Carers who drop in will also be able to find out
about the support that is available to them.
Tiff Cecchini, an NSFT mental health nurse who works in family liaison, will
give mental health awareness training sessions to carers aged between 12 and 16
who help to look after family members with a mental health condition. The
invitation-only sessions, which will each last one hour, will take place at
Marlpit Community Centre and Pilling Park Community Centre, both Norwich,
on Wednesday, 12 June and Thursday, 13 June respectively. All the youngsters
who will take part belong to Norfolk Family Carers’ Young Carers Group. These
will be the first training sessions of their kind but it is hoped they will
take place regularly in the future.
A “carers’ afternoon cream tea” will be held at Northgate Hospital, Great
Yarmouth, on Thursday, 13 June for unpaid carers looking after
someone with a mental health condition. It will take place in the Harbours Room
in the main hospital block, and carers can drop in at any point between 12 noon
and 3pm. Representatives of Age Concern Norfolk, Norfolk Family Carers and
Carers Matter Norfolk will be on hand to provide carers with advice and
support. For more information, contact Howard Tidman by phone on 07557 290169
or by email at email@example.com
Staff from NSFT’s North Central Older People’s Community Team, which is based
at the Julian Hospital, Norwich, will take part in a carers event at Wells
Community Hospital on Thursday, 13 June, 1pm-4pm, which is
being organised by Carers Matter Norfolk. They will be able to provide
information about support services for carers and the older people’s mental
health team in North Norfolk. Light refreshments will be available. The day is
for carers, families, community groups and health professionals.
Carers Lead case study: Neil Broadway, Carers Lead, Suffolk Coastal
As far as Neil Broadway is concerned, unpaid carers are NSFT’s biggest asset,
which means he is passionate about his job as Carers Lead for the Coastal
Integrated Delivery Team (IDT).
Based at Walker Close, Ipswich, he supports carers of people who have a mental
health condition registered at one GP practice in Ipswich and practices
elsewhere, such as those in Felixstowe, Leiston and Saxmundham, and drives
about 200 miles a week to do so.
It is a role that Neil, who is 44, took up in June 2017 after a varied career
which has included two spells working in the United States, in Wisconsin and
Massachusetts, as a counsellor with young people.
“Unpaid family carers are our Trust’s biggest asset who provide phenomenal
support to people with a mental health condition,” he said. “They don’t often
get the recognition and appreciation they deserve.
“For the first time the Care Act 2014 gave carers certain rights, which include
having an assessment of their own needs.
“In Suffolk, the county council has outsourced these assessments of carers for
people with a mental health condition to NSFT, and I undertake these in various
venues, including the carer’s own home.
“There’s a variety of support for carers in Suffolk but it’s not always easy
for them to know what’s out there and how to access it. Part of my role is to
signpost carers to the help that’s available, such as that offered by Suffolk
Family Carers which includes one-off courses, one-to-one support and
Neil, who has his own lived experience of a mental health condition, is also
involved in ensuring that carers have an opportunity to shape and improve
mental health services. For example, he’s a member of the Trust’s co-production
panel and in January this year attended the organisation’s first “NSFT Service
Users and Carers Away Day”, which will become regular events so that the
experience and expertise of service users and carers can be used to make
He works closely with the carers leads linked to Suffolk’s four other IDTs and
is involved in carers support groups, including the Carers Drop-in Group, which
he helped set up last year to support people in east and central Suffolk who
are caring for loved ones with a mental health condition.
“Being a carers lead is a vast role and I get pulled in many directions, but I
love it, especially the variety and meeting people from different
organisations,” said Neil. “I love talking and engaging with people and find it
easy to do, so I’m well-suited for this job.
“I’ve had many different jobs in the past but I find this role very fulfilling
and I’m happy to carry on doing it for the foreseeable future."
Initially, he trained and qualified as a chef and, as well as working overseas,
his career has included being a support worker in Crisis Resolution and Home
Treatment (CRHT) teams at St Clements Hospital, Ipswich, and in Colchester, and
working in a reablement team at Ipswich Hospital.
Pictured: Four of NSFT's Carers Leads (left to
right): Eddie Cross (Central Suffolk), Neil Broadway (Suffolk Coastal), Julie
Williams (Bury St Edmunds South) and Jay Chandler (Ipswich).
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