Tonight the Broadfield Stadium pays host to a wellbeing event from Carers Support West Sussex. It is a chance to find out what provisions there are to help carers - from days out to massages.
This article is from the Crawley Observer after we spoke to Parveen Khan from the charity.
National Carers Week 2023
On national Carers Week 2023 we spoke with Carer’s Support West Sussex about why it is important to celebrate the Week and about raising awareness and showing what provisions there are available for those looking after others.
The charity’s Bilingual Memory Navigator Parveen Khan says that the week ‘is about appreciating all the carers that we have in Crawley. They’re looking after family members and it’s about celebrating their work. It’s about giving information about what’s out there in terms of resources, information and support, because it’s not easy looking after some loved ones, you’re tested all the time - it’s very emotional.’
The charity’s Dementia Lead and Team Coordinator Louisa Stockdale told us about the size of Crawley’s carer network:
“We have 2553 carers registered in Crawley alone, this [only] includes the carers that have emails and not the ones without.”
There is a chasm between those in the data and those without, Parveen explains further:
“People don't recognise themselves as carers - we’ve established that as a fact. Quite a few people are registering more as carers nowadays, and I think that's a due to COVID. Because I think people were in their homes and were thinking about it. COVID highlighted the efforts that they've put in that, their own journeys. So, we are getting more more carers registering with us from previous months and years and we get people asking us questions about where they can go for help and you can end the help can arrange, from counselling to respite; to funding for massages or days out.’
She says that there is a reluctance to admit their position as carer due to stigma related to what can be perceived as familial duty. Age also forms part of the blurred lines between duty and carer - Parveen explains the role of Carer’s Support West Sussex:
‘There are a lot more young carers now and a lot of 13 year olds, 14 year olds looking after [family] and so the main thing is to be there for them. Have choice, be approachable, be friendly. I think this all creates appreciation of carers and what they do for the community and in the nation.
Sometimes carers go through there, own mental health issues, or their own health issues, but they're still there for the family member that's not well. We’re here for you and we’ve got resources, we can signpost, and it's very much about working with other partnerships.’
The Foundation is one such partner and the club recently held an event for Carer’s Support at the stadium for carers and partners.
The Foundation is committed to expanding its provisions to be dementia friendly and, as well as hosting a Dementia Action Week event last month, has an over 50s programme each week.
The Extra Time Hubs programme is dementia-friendly and is at the Broadfield Stadium every Friday 11:30-1:30pm in the suite. There is walking football on the ball court between 12-1pm and hosts refreshments, seated exercises, activities and guests upstairs.
To find out more visit the Foundation website