A few words from the CEO…
As we approach Christmas this year I think it is fair to say that not many people want to hear another word said about Covid-19! Instead I will say that as always family Carers of all ages across Essex have continued to look after loved ones whilst balancing other responsibilities like work and school.
The results of a very recent survey by Carers Trust have shown that one in six Carers (16%) reported that lockdowns and closure of local services have forced them into caring for an additional 40 hours or more per week. And 54% of carers have given up, or reduced, paid work because of caring responsibilities
This is why Action for Family Carers exists and we continue to do all that we can to support Carers and address gaps. We have the New Work Challenge project supporting Carers into employment. We have reopened our Day Care services and Activity Groups for people with dementia which apart from helping the older people who attend also give Carers a precious break. Our work with Young Carers in primary and secondary schools continues and we hope to restart our face to face club nights in the New Year.
Our new online Carers Café has proved to be very popular and is a great way of meeting other Carers as well as getting questions answered. Our Annual Carers Survey and a Young Carers Survey are also out at the moment to please look out for those and let us know what else we can do to help.
Best wishes for a peaceful Christmas.
Chief Executive Officer
Our Essex Befriends service is continuing to support Carers, older people and people with mental health issues and learning disabilities. We are also working with the Essex Welfare Service, particularly supporting people with mental health issues, who are often suffering increased anxiety due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Our Essex Befriends volunteers work extremely hard to keep in touch with all our clients across Essex. All our volunteers receive training before they start befriending and are well supported by staff if any difficulties arise with clients.
If you would like to volunteer for our Essex Befriends service, please visit our website www.essexbefriends.org.uk