Hurray! It's Carers Week Next Week!
The theme for carers week 2020 is "Making Caring Visible" and normally we would be having a few events for carers to join in, so we will try to do our best to replicate some of that online. We will have a virtual information marketplace next week aimed at helping carers to find out more about the help available to them, we'll have some entertainment going on and we're inviting carers in Fife to take part by telling us something about their caring role and how they've got on during lockdown. We also want to highlight to everyone else how important carers are to the success of life in Fife.
We'd like you to take part. Here's how:
> Come and visit the page next week to see what information there is that may help you or someone you know who is caring.
> Email Lesley.Childs@fifecarers.co.uk with your story of how you have coped with lockdown - photos are most welcome as are short video clips!
> Print off and colour in the poster attached (you or the kids!) and put it up in your window and show your support for carers in Fife - send us a picture of the finished version to be entered into a prize draw to win a £20 Amazon voucher..
>Go to Carers Week website (https://www.carersweek.org/ )and make your pledge, download a facebook frame and see what else is happening for carers.
Today's befriending volunteers are Barbara and James.
Barbara says "Befriending benefits both me, and the person I'm befriending. Nothing 'heals' more than laughter." and James tells us "I have just joined the befrienders as a volunteer and waiting on being matched with a client. l am a carer for my wife who has severe anxiety and depression so l understand how hard it is to cope mentally but with friends and family around I'm lucky to have that help.
Thanks folks - it's lovely to hear how much you and the person you befriend get out of your volunteering role
A chance to meet more of our volunteer befrienders and hear what they have to say about their role:
Sandra says : Having been a carer for my mum who had dementia I appreciate the stress and anxiety this can cause. It can be hard to speak to family and friends who don't always understand. I find it very rewarding to know I am there for someone in similar circumstances.
Sylvia says: Befriending is definitely a rewarding experience for both Carer and volunteer. It is two way experience, caring and sharing"
This week will give us a chance to introduce you to some of our volunteer befrienders and hear from them about their views on their befriending role. First up we have Robbie and Jane. What do they think of their role as a befriender?
Robbie says: I find it is very uplifting to me as I feel I’m able to talk to someone who is doing an awesome job bringing up two teenage children on her own and yet is able to get on with her life in fact I think I am getting more out of it than she is it’s early days but it has been my privilege to meet this young woman and I hope she gets as much pleasure as me.
Jane says: As a carer myself I understand the need to be able to reach out, sometimes be angry, shout and laugh. As the Befriender I know how important that friendship is and every visit ends with laughter and feeling really valued knowing that just being there has made a difference.
Thanks Robbie and Jane! You are making a big difference to the lives of people who you befriend and it's great to hear it makes a big difference to how you feel too.
Fife Carers centre volunteers provide regular befriending to carers across Fife who are socially isolated, feeling lonely or just in need of someone to talk to or listen. Volunteers are people who do not necessarily have plenty of time to spare, they have the heart. Very often they have had similar experience in caring roles or faced other life challenges; they appreciate the stress and anxiety caring role can cause and find it rewarding to be able to help someone who frequently can’t speak to family or friends.
When it was still possible, they enjoyed face to face meetings and different activities together before pandemic; now it is limited to telephone and video calls as well as frequent messages.
Both, carers and volunteers, find it particularly important to continue their befriending relationships at these challenging times when many of us feel anxious and lonely.
Use of modern technology has never been that popular before; some volunteers and carers have been that desperate to see one another they have specially learned to use video communicators for the first time in their lives!