Three-year celebration for Bradford project that proves just the job for carers

A Bradford scheme is celebrating after helping almost 400 carers to rebuild their lives as it marks its third anniversary.

Carers’ Resource, an award-winning Yorkshire charity which supports unpaid carers, has helped people to find work, access education or training, set up a business or boost their skills as part of its CReate scheme.

And carers who have benefited from the project shared in its success at a special party at the charity’s Shipley base at Park View Court, St Paul’s Road.

A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a friend, neighbour or relative who could not manage otherwise because of frailty, illness or disability.

Candy Squire-Watt, CReate service manager said: “After three years, the current phase of the Carers’ Resource CReate project is coming to an end.

“We didn’t want it to end without saying a big ‘Thank You’ and well done to those special carers who have been part of our journey, and it was great to see many of them at our celebration lunch.

“Caring is a tough job – and it is often a role that is not planned as it can be the result of an accident, sudden illness or frailty.

“In many cases carers struggle juggling paid work with caring responsibilities at home, and we know that about 50 per cent of carers have had to give up work to look after a loved one.”

The team has also provided one-to-one mentoring to give carers a bespoke support.

Funded by the Big Lottery, the four main outcomes of the project, which have been met or exceeded, were:

– 300 carers have improved knowledge about how to access information about work and learning opportunities

– 180 carers have raised aspirations, improved confidence and that they have acted upon the information, advice and support given

– 180 carers have participated in at least three activities, have improved skill levels, feel less isolated and have formed peer relationships

– Five organisations are identifying and supporting carers in their organisation. A further 106 businesses or organisations also attended special workshops about supporting carers in the workforce.

Workshops for carers included exploring enterprise, managing stress, an introduction to retail, and caring day to day.

There has been a weekly Work Club, a successful IT group and courses, and the IT@Home scheme which involved volunteers supporting carers with their computer knowledge in their home.

The project is continuing on a lesser scale in the hope further funding is secured to offer a full programme.

Angela Malcolm, Amanda Harker and Roland Dennison

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