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Special event to help carers live well

Anyone who supports or cares for someone with a physical or mental health condition is being invited to find out more about the help which is available locally at a special event in Norwich.

“Sharing Ways of Living Well” has been jointly organised by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and Care for Carers. Taking place on Monday, 7 October at the Forum in Millennium Plain, it will feature more than 70 stalls from individuals, organisations, care providers and businesses who provide a range of support, advice and social activities to help carers stay connected.

The event will be opened by NSFT Chair Marie Gabriel and will include stalls from the Trust’s Carer’s Leads, Recovery College, dementia teams, Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and workforce, as well as many outside services and organisations, some of which are new to this area and some which have supported Care for Carers at past events.

It will also be used to showcase CHIME, which stands for “Connect, Hope, Identity, Meaning, Empowerment” and is a national framework drawn up after asking people with lived experience of mental ill health about the factors which were important for their recovery. During the day, each stall will be given a balloon and poster illustrating which of the factors is best represented by their project, with the aim of creating a sea of colour which captures people’s imaginations while helping to spread hope and optimism.

Everyone who fills in a feedback form at the event will also be given a goody bag filled with small gifts, such as fruit teabags, cosmetic samples and bottles of water, along with messages of hope and living well. Each of the goody bags will have been designed by an NSFT service user, carer or staff member, and will have a sticker on the front showing that person’s initials to make them personal and individual.

Pip Everett, Carers Lead with NSFT, said: “We are delighted to be working with Care for Carers to organise this exciting event and look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to the Forum. We are hoping to reach out to those people who find themselves in a caring role but do not recognise themselves as a carer and are not aware of the wide range of support that is available to them

“Statistics show that we are all likely to fulfil a caring role at some point in our lives, while so often people’s difficulties can now encompass both mental and physical ill health. That is why it is so important for us to work in partnership to showcase the help and support which is available, as well as social activities which can offer carers respite and help tackle social isolation.

“The main theme of the event is sharing ways to live well, which is especially important for carers who often place the needs of the person they are caring for above their own. We will be talking to them about the things they can do to safeguard their own health and wellbeing, as well as promoting services which can help them access more support to make their daily lives easier.”

The free event is open to everyone and runs from 9am to 3pm.

Pictured: Pip Everett, left, and Jill Curtis, Carers Leads with NSFT.

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