Carers across Bradford are among the first in the UK to benefit from a new partnership that embraces community spirit to help them, and the loved ones they look after, to live a better life.
Two local charities, Carers’ Resource and Age UK Bradford District, have broken new ground by joining forces with an online support network called Rally Round that makes it easy for family, friends and neighbours to come together and organise help for someone they care about.
Whether it is doing the shopping, tidying the garden, changing a lightbulb, getting to and from medical appointments, or simply meeting up for a coffee and a chat, Rally Round is designed to tackle loneliness and social isolation.
It also aims to improve the health, wellbeing and safety in the home of the growing number of people in Bradford requiring care.
Using the service is free and it is easy to sign up. Any task that needs doing is simply added to a secure “to do list” by anyone who is a member of a person’s network.
Trusted family members and friends can take a look at any time and volunteer to help. Text and email notifications keep everyone in the loop – those who want to help feel included and nobody feels too pressured or stressed as the everyday tasks are shared out.
Chris Whiley, drector of Carers Resource, said: “Carers’ Week this year is all about building carer-friendly communities and the link-up with Rally Round puts us in the vanguard of achieving this.
“We have a growing, ageing population and it is a fact that more and more of us will require care – or take on the role of carer to a loved one – as we get older.
“By adopting Rally Round and extending it into the heart of our caring community, we can all work together to help people live independently in their own homes and keep them out of hospital wherever possible.
“For the carer, whose role can be both stressful and relentless, the initiative helps to reduce ‘burn out’ and improve their ownhealth and wellbeing.”
Anna Jackson, head of service implementation for Rally Round, said: “Our aim is to work closely with pioneers like Carers Resource and Age UK Bradford District to help carers, and the people they care for, live a better life.
“Rally Round helps to build support around those who need a bit of extra help whilst sharing out the caring amongst family, friends and neighbours.
“The idea has really caught the imagination of the public and given fresh impetus to generating a modern-day community spirit that can really make a positive difference to people’s lives.
“We are delighted that pool our expertise with that of Carers Resource and Age UK Bradford District and develop a ‘home-grown’ solution to meeting the needs of carers and their loved ones across the district.”
The link-up comes as the district prepares to mark Carers’ Week (June 6 – 12), the annual campaign to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the 1-in-7 people in the community who are carers.
- To create a support network for yourself, or someone you know who needs help, telephone Carers Resource on 01274 449660 or Age UK Bradford District on 01274 395144 and ask to sign up to Rally Round. The service is free for everyone living in the district.