Vital carers get to step into the spotlight

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A charity helping carers has been out and about in Dunstable and Houghton Regis raising awareness of the huge contribution unpaid carers make to society, and the support available to help them, during Carers Week.

Carers in Bedfordshire local manager Sharon Rogers said: “We were in Houghton Regis on Saturday, having a special Carers Café with cream teas, held a carer group in Dunstable on Tuesday evening, and ran a drop-in at for carers at Dunstable Downs on Wednesday. At all the events we run, carers support each other, and find out about our groups and clubs, personalised support, discount card and grants scheme.

Sheila Long, 68, of Dunstable, a regular attendee at the Dunstable evening group, said: “Carers in Bedfordshire offers a very valuable service. It has been a big part of my life and still is.

“They have got me through a lot, just having someone to talk to. At the groups everybody is there for me.  My husband and I would also go into the Carers Lounge in the L&D when he was in hospital.”

Over 44,000 Bedfordshire residents care, unpaid, for a family member or friend who cannot manage without them but only 8,000, between the ages of four-94 are registered with Carers in Bedfordshire.

“Living in a carer friendly community, where local people and organisations have some understanding of a carer’s daily reality; that they can be under a lot of pressure, and are often hidden from view, makes a big difference to carers’ lives, so we’re talking about that too.” Sharon added, “Dunstable and Houghton Regis are already pretty carer friendly, but we could always do more!”

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