Carers' News Issue 12 accessible

The importance of pets

The relationship we have with our pets is compromised, for all sorts of reasons. It may be due to ill health, the breakdown of a partnership or the loss of a home.
Sadly, during the lockdown, we have seen a marked increase in cases involving mental health, domestic violence and people generally finding they are not able to cope.
Our Special Friends can help put the steps in place to allow a person to get the help that they need.
It might be that we can signpost them to social care or their GP, or if their pet is suffering, to a vet.
We can help elderly people, immobile or lonely people by visiting with a volunteer and their friendly dog. One regular visit per week, can make all the difference to someone’s life. 
We have had an increase of cases needing the support of temporary fostering whilst their owners are in hospital, or trying to find pet friendly accommodation.
We alleviate the concerns they may have about the welfare of their animals and enable them to be reunited with their special friends after some time.
You an find out more at

Lillie the Labrador is a hit on wards
​​​​​​Sometimes you don’t need words to make you feel better, you just need the nearness of your dog”. So said Natalie Lloyd, American author and blogger.
Patients in the Secure and Forensic Services are experiencing that first-hand when Secure and Forensic service director Emma Lewis brings Lillie the charcoal Labrador to work.
She said: “Pet therapy has long been recognised for its benefits on mental wellbeing. There is just something about those wet noses and wagging tails that make us all feel a little bit brighter.”
She said the change in mood was instant when Lillie was about. “Research shows that pets, particularly dogs, can effectively reduce anxiety, loneliness and stress through the sense of safety they provide.”

Please get your vaccine
Vaccination for all adults is currently under way.
But chief nurse and COVID tactical commander Dawn Collins said: “We have found that some younger people feel safe from the virus so don’t think they need this vaccine.
“Please use your contacts with people under our services and those that care for them, to encourage vaccination. It is the best way they can protect themselves and their loved ones from the illness and the potentially life-changing effects of long COVID.
“Only by everyone getting the vaccine will we really get back to normal. Let’s take the next step safely and remember, hands, face, space and fresh air!”

New role for Stuart
Stuart Richardson is to become NSFT’s new chief executive when interim CEO Dr Adam Morris steps down in October.
Stuart, who lives in Suffolk, is currently chief operation officer and is a learning disability nurse by background. He built his 28-year career in mental health and learning disability services through clinical and service lead roles within the NHS, social care and the voluntary sector. 

Let’s meet

Howard Tidman, Carers Champion Great Yarmouth and Waveney Acute Services

A new project is looking to highlight voices from often under-represented members of the community, including unpaid carers.
Seldom Heard Voices will tell creative and varied stories of people’s experiences, thoughts and aspirations in connection with living in Norwich.
The project’s mission is to creatively explore ideas about what is important to people, their experiences and sense of community and surroundings. 
The project also wants to hear from people with disabilities, learning disabilities and mental health issues.
The catalyst behind this project is the Norwich Good Economy Commission (NGEC), a research collaboration between Norwich City Council, The University of East Anglia and other local organisations.  
The project has two stages. The first is a game aimed at inspiring and starting conversations around choices made within the game. This is followed by developing those ideas into creative projects such as film, art, photography, voice recordings and music, which will be exhibited in a variety of innovative ways in and around Norwich.
There will be updates about how the projects are progressing via a website and local media, with final exhibitions taking place in March/April 2022. 
For more information contact, Dandelion Snowley (pictured) or call 01603 987866 (Mon-Wed).


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