It has been almost six months since a Hartlepool charity supporting local people caring for a loved one teamed up with its local NHS trust – helping many more people living in the town.
Over that time, Hartlepool Carers has helped more than 160 staff, patients and visitors at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
The charity, based in Lowthian Road, is a first point of call for anyone providing unpaid care to loved ones.
Information, advice and guidance worker Jan Hollis has been spending significant time at both the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees to engage with staff, patients and visitors.
Christine Fewster, chief executive, said: “Since we started working with the Trust we have spoken to many people who are acting as carers to a loved one, who had no idea they were able to receive this support.
“We know many members of our community require essential support to attend appointments in outpatients and support loved ones when they are admitted to hospital.
“This can be such a stressful time for families, especially the person providing care.
“We want to ensure carers understand they do not need to be in receipt of any carer specific benefits, caring for a certain number of hours or be in a paid capacity to receive our support.
“We can help identify services that may be available to families and ensure carers have access to essential services to enable them to live well around their caring role in their community.
“Providing care can be challenging, especially within the current cost of living crisis.
“We are delighted with how our first few months working with the Trust have been and look forward to continuing to make a real difference to so many other people’s lives in the future.”
“We have introduced ‘Contact Postcards’ these cards can be found on wards and in departments for anyone providing unpaid care in Hartlepool, simply pop you details on and post them in the boxes in reception of North Tees or Hartlepool Hospital. We will then get in touch to see how we can help you”
As part of Carers Week last week, Hartlepool Carers held a series of events, hosting more than 25 activities across the town.
Christine added: “We had a range of activities, from mindfulness, meals out, motor med sessions, swap shops and much more. We understand how difficult it can be for carers to get a break, but we encourage everyone to come and get involved, it’s free and will be lots of fun.”
Recent statistics show that Hartlepool has one of the largest numbers of unpaid carers in England, with more than 10,000 carers across the population.
If anyone would like more information call 01429 283095 or email [email protected]