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Carers Rights Day free expo will provide unpaid carers with essential information

Unpaid carers are being invited to a free event packed with information to help them on their journey caring for a friend or family member for Carers Rights Day this year

Published 9 November 2023

Unpaid carers are being invited to a free event packed with information to help them on their journey caring for a friend or family member for Carers Rights Day this year.

The charity Carer Support Wiltshire is hosting its first ever 'carers expo' at Trowbridge Civic Centre on Tuesday 21 November and the day will be filled with speakers and information stands.

Many organisations will be in attendance to provide information, including Wiltshire Council, Dorothy House and Citizen's Advice Wiltshire. Talks will cover a number of topics, from how to navigate the benefits system and building a support network, to looking after a child with additional needs and returning to the workplace. The event will be opened by Trowbridge mayor Stephen Cooper.

Everyone is invited to drop in and browse the event, which takes place between 10am and 6pm, whether currently caring for someone or in preparation for possibly caring for someone in the future.

Mandy from Westbury cares for her mum, who has Alzheimer's. She says: "My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's two years ago and she lives with us. She's not able to do anything like cooking, cleaning or household chores and can only be left on her own in the house for very short periods of time.

"It's useful to talk to people who know what you're going through and understand that process of caring and how it limits you. I don't think most people fully understand that it's not easy to get out and do things, or even spend 10 minutes having a shower.

"It was hugely helpful for me to have a carer's assessment done and be allocated four hours a week paid support from Alzheimer's Support. Someone comes a couple of times a week for a couple of hours to sit with mum. Just being able to sit and read a newspaper without my mum wanting to know where I am and what I'm doing is wonderful. I was also able to gain some useful information around hospital discharge when my mum left hospital earlier this year."

Leanne Hubbard, Chief Executive of Carer Support Wiltshire said:

"Carers Rights Day is a national annual awareness day that aims to ensure unpaid carers like Mandy are aware of their rights. These can range from the right to claim certain benefits to rights in the workplace to the right to choose to stop caring for a family member. In Mandy's case she was able to find out about respite available to her, which gives her important time to herself to recharge. This is what the expo aims to do - provide the valuable information and support that unpaid carers need all in one place.

"We know that having the right support can make a huge positive difference to a carer's own health and wellbeing, and their ability to care for someone else."

There will also be an exhibition of carers' work at the Civic Centre on the same day in the Pitman Room on the first floor and people are encouraged to take time to view while they are visiting. Wiltshire Council commissioned arts charity Rosetta Life to engage carers in creative workshops and they created poems, films and songs which will be shared.

Cllr Jane Davies, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: "This is an important event for our carers as they can find out key practical information and information on support. It is also a good opportunity to meet other carers and share experiences. I would encourage as many carers as possible to attend. We will also have a space on the first floor on the same day where our carers have shared their thoughts on their experiences with music, poetry and art. I'd ask those attending to spend a few minutes reviewing these pieces of work as it offers very personal insights which I'm sure will resonate with many of the carers attending."

Attendees are welcome to bring along the person they care for to the information hall although, due to limited space, only carers will be able to attend the talks. There will be places to sit and relax and a place to buy drinks.

All are welcome to turn up on the day, however spaces at the talks will be limited. If there are particular talks you are interested in, you can reserve seats ahead of the day by visiting the Carer Friendly Wiltshire (opens new window) site or by calling Carer Support Wiltshire on 0800 181 4118 or emailing admin@carersupportwiltshire.co.uk (opens new window).

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