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Businesswomen put their best foot forward in aid of unpaid carers
A networking group run by and for businesswomen in South Lakeland is fundraising for the area’s unpaid carers by walking, cycling and running around the Lake District.
Every two years members of the Lakeland Businesswomen’s Network (LBN) nominate a charity to support and until 2021 it’s Carer Support South Lakes (CSSL).
The Kendal-based charity provides services and support to 1,350 unpaid carers in South Lakeland.
The LBN chair, Carole Greenland says it’s incredible to think of carers as young as five, and others in their nineties, caring for loved ones 24 hours a day, seven days a week with many giving up income, education, employment prospects or pension rights to do so.
It seemed an important charity for the women to help, explains Carole, and they set about fundraising through a monthly raffle as part of their meeting raising £246.
But with restrictions to control the pandemic taking their meetings online they came up with a new way to fundraise. In October the LBN launched a new challenge, to walk, run and cycle 250 sponsored miles across the Lake District to raise an additional £250 for CSSL.
The group’s vice chair, Anne Clark, logged the first two miles and soon other members were out – from Kendal Castle and Morecambe Bay to Wastwater, Buttermere and Loweswater.
Between them they’ve clocked up 65.48 miles, raising £105 with more challenges planned.
Mike Seaton from CSSL’s says donations, whether large or small, make a huge difference and will ensure unpaid carers get the support they need.
Anyone wanting to support the LBN’s can visit their JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lakeland-businesswomens-network
For more information about the LBN visit: www.lbn.org.uk/
With a second peak in coronaviruses it’s even more important to look after unpaid carers
As the government announces new restrictions to head off a second peak in coronavirus cases this autumn, charity officials say it’s even more important to look after unpaid carers.
“Carers that look after loved ones, around the clock and unpaid, make an enormous contribution to society,” explains Mike Seaton from Carer Support South Lakes.
“During the pandemic their caring role been made even more difficult as many of the respite and support systems are not available.
“We’ve adapted the way we work and we’re providing one to one support, guidance and information over the phone and doing assessments. Our counselling service is over the phone or via Zoom. And we’ve got lots of online advice too but we know this doesn’t replace the social contact that many carers appreciate alongside a break from their caring duties.”
One young carer who can usually access help from Carers Support South Lakes, is 17-year old Josh Marshall from the Cumbria, Lancashire border. He helps parents Darren and Lisa, look after 15-year-old Jacob who needs constant care because of a rare condition.
“Over the last six months Jacob has been at home 24/7 and we’ve felt completely forgotten with no activities for Jacob. Jacob’s youth and after-school clubs weren’t open and neither was his school and this was a massive loss to him. Jacob loves contact with others and he’s had none of that. Things have improved with Jacob going back to school.
“It’s also been difficult for Josh, who’s missed out on contact with his peers via residentials and other groups events organised by Carer Support South Lakes, not being possible.
“With the threat of a possible second wave of coronavirus we’re worried that it will impact on us again. Jacob needs continuity, structure, lots of social interaction and we don’t want schools to close again. There are 500,000 unpaid carers in the UK, it’s one of the hardest roles anyone can undertake and extra support and recognition would really help,” added Lisa.
Mike Seaton from Carer Support South Lakes says the charity is working hard to find new ways to deliver their service to the unpaid carers of the South Lakes, such as support groups via Zoom, activity packs for young carers and advice and support on carers wellbeing.
Carer Support South Lakes is an independent charity based in Kendal providing services and support to 1,250 unpaid carers of all ages in South Lakeland.
A carer is anyone who volunteers to look after friends or family who are ill, struggle with disability or addiction and who cannot cope without their support. There are 12,000 unpaid carers across the county, many give up their income, education, employment prospects or pension rights to care for a loved one, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Carer Support South Lakes can be contacted by calling 01539 815970.
Autumn Ball postponed until 2021
Carer Support South Lakes sell-out Autumn Ball, raising funds for local unpaid carers, is being postponed until next year (2021).
Carer Support South Lakes says since 2013 their event has been a successful fundraiser bringing in over £50,000 for carers aged five to 95-years-old.
The Carer’s Carer Ball, held annually at the Castle Green Hotel Ballroom in November, will now take place on Friday 19th November 2021.
The charity’s chief exec, Mike Seaton says over 200 guests attended the 2019 ball and next year’s promises to be even bigger and better. As Mike Seaton explained:
“The Castle Green team and Cumbrian party band The Seals have been fantastic in helping to re-arrange everything.”
“Our fundraising ball is the highlight of our very active year in the South Lakes. The event is hugely supported by the local community and businesses who understand how important carers are.”
“In the past the community have donated amazing prizes, from holidays in Portugal and Spain, and a luxury mobile-home adventure to food and wine hampers and restaurant dinners. All monies raised ensure essential services can continue – including advice and assessment lines, sitting and counselling provision and group sessions,” added Mike.
Carers Support South Lakes, established in 1982 and based in Kendal, is managed by a team of local professionals with help from volunteers from the local community. The charity, the ‘Carer’s Carer’, provides advice, help and services to 1350 unpaid carers.
“There are 12,000 unpaid carers across the county looking after loved ones who cannot look after themselves, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They need looking after so they can support others,” said Mike.
A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who is ill, has a disability, mental ill health or an addiction and who cannot cope without their support.
For details of next year’s ball and for more information about Carer Support South Lakes visit www.carersupportsouthlakes.org.uk/