Carers News Issue 15

Issue 15, November 2021

Caring is everyone’s business
Carers across Norfolk and Suffolk will have the chance to hear from experts in the field through an online event this month.
The virtual session is being held 26 November during the week of Carers’ Rights Day and will run 2-4pm. The event is open to the public and will include speakers, the re-launch of the Triangle of Care and the Carers’ Tick with the chance to ask questions.
This year’s campaign will focus on raising awareness of the rights of unpaid carers, particularly highlighting the impact COVID has had.
Howard Tidman Senior, carers lead, said: “It has been an incredibly hard 18 months and now more than ever we need to realise the hard work they do.
“The event will focus on The Triangle of Care, why is it important to support carers, carers’ rights and where to get support.”
If you would like a copy of the Carers TOC Leaflet please ask a member of staff, a Carers Lead or email your request to the Carers Q & A Service.
The event will be held on Teams. You can find the link on NSFT’s website in the Trust Events section. Click here to join

A virtual hug from us to you
We have been offered more free wellbeing packs for all our carers.
The packs have been put together by Norfolk County Council, in partnership with Caring Together and Carers Voice.
Alongside some PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and some information to support carers, the pack also contains some ‘pick-me-up’ items for carers to enjoy – chocolate, sweets, bubble bath, a bag, tea, coffee, biscuits.
Please contact us if you would like to receive a pack.
Email your contact details to and we will do the rest.

Book vaccines
This winter, the NHS is preparing for a bad flu season alongside rising cases of COVID-19. Vaccines are the best protection for you and for those you care for.

Green light for better communication
Paul’s role is Green Light Peer Support Worker and he’s responsible for overseeing new Easy Read documents for the Trust.
He said: “It’s essential that people with disabilities and/or autism are not excluded and that equal opportunities and reasonable adjustments are put in place.
“I get proper satisfaction knowing that I’ve produced Easy Read documents to a high degree of professionalism as well as educating others about this essential and very much legal requirement.”

Who cares for the carers?
My name is Neil Broadway, and I am sharing this very personal story. I am not sharing this in the capacity of a Trust Carers Lead, although I do believe that I have a unique perspective; as a carer, a member of staff and of my own lived experience of mental health over a 20-year period.
This is a sad story with a hard-hitting message regarding my uncle’s role as an unpaid carer. 
My uncle was the devoted and loving husband to my aunty, who sadly, 7 years ago was diagnosed with early onset Dementia – their lives literately changed overnight and declined rapidly over those challenging 7 years. My uncle effectively lost his beloved wife piece by piece, and day by day. He was thrown deeper and deeper into his carer role. She finally passed away in the Autumn of 2020.
This story is not really about my aunty, but the impact my uncle’s caring role had on him. He did not have any time for himself, nor did he have the opportunity to take a day off or ask for help.
It is only now, as a family, we understand how much he sacrificed. The impact of his caring role and how he consistently put the needs of my aunty above himself.
He neglected his own health; he did not seek advice from his GP to explore some very serious health concerns which ultimately cost him his life. He passed away in August 2021.
I do ask myself why he did not reach out or ask for help, but I can only assume that as a proud man he did not want to burden anyone else, or maybe he did not know where to get help? It may have been that asking for help left him with some feelings of guilt which as a carer can be very conflicting. As I say, I can only assume what his thoughts were… my family and I will never know the real truth.
Being an unpaid carer is not a role you ask to have; it is often thrust upon you - sometimes with no warning. 
Often you are not prepared and lose your sense of self and identity as time progresses. Those feelings of guilt creep up and determine everything you do but you do it because you care… but who cares for you?

Let’s meet
Polly Johnson, People Participation Lead, West and South Norfolk Adult and Older People’s services
First record: The 7” single of Take On Me by A-Ha. I had seen the video on Top of the Pops and thought it was the best thing I’d ever seen!
Fave food: Salt and pepper tofu with spicy rice.
From my own experience as a service user and as a supporter, I really valued it when people asked me what I thought about things and then stopped to listen to what I had to say. For me, that’s what’s exciting about my job – creating ways with people to share their knowledge and experience, to develop their existing skills and learn new things and to make a unique difference in shaping everything we do moving forward. 
In my spare time I’m a mindfulness teacher, trustee of a domestic abuse charity, a step-mum of two, and a cat mum of five.

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