Monday, 14 September 2009

Swansea charity for carers boosts thousands

Increasing numbers of carers are getting the chance of a better quality of life thanks to a local charity backed by Swansea Council.

Last year alone the Swansea Carers Centre's services such as benefits advice and IT courses were accessed by more than 1,500 carers.

And in addition to the services provided by a dedicated staff team, more than 6,633 hours of support was provided by 66 volunteers for the benefit of carers and people who are cared for in a wide variety of ways.

The Carers Centre annual report to be unveiled at its AGM next week reveals that in 2008 to 2009 it helped carers and their families gain £1.2 million in vital welfare benefits they might otherwise have missed out on.

That brings the total benefits gained with the Centre's help to over £9 million since the service began.

The Centre's Caring Break Daycare service enabled carers to benefit from 9,680 hours of respite care and its Caring Break Home Sitting Service provided 6,085 hours of respite for people with care needs.

The counselling service supported 107 carers and the centre facilitated 30 IT workshops and drop-in courses.

The Centre, which has Swansea Council as its major funder, has more than 9,500 carers registered with it.

It aims to make a positive difference to the lives of carers and to help them access support to sustain them in their vital role and ensure that society recognises and values what they do.

New aspects of the service this year include the GP liaison Project which has seen the Centre working with 20 surgeries in Swansea to enable better support to patients who are carers. Funding has also been secured from the Big Lottery to undertake a three-year Carers Outreach Project from April 2009.

Cllr Nick Tregoning,
Swansea CouncilCabinet member for Social Services, said: "All 72 members of Swansea Council are very aware of the important role carers have. They provide a tremendous service of which they can be proud.

"We will continue to work with the Carers Centre and its dedicated team in the coming year in an effort to develop the range of services available to Swansea's unsung army of carers who provide such wonderful care to hundreds of Swansea's citizens."

Swansea Carers Centre aims to make a positive difference to the lives of people who look after family, partners or friends in need of help because they are ill, frail or have a disability.

It supports and provides information to all carers of those with an illness or disability including learning disabilities, mental health problems, physical disabilities, dementia or other long-term limiting illnesses.

While Swansea Council's Social Services funds much of its core work, additional funding comes from Compact, Strategy for Older People, Supporting People, The Big Lottery Fund, Lloyds TSB, the WCVA Mental Health small grants scheme, Swansea Community Chest and donations.

Executive Director Shirley Bowen said: "We remain grateful for the financial support we receive from Swansea Council and our other funders. Working with our partners enables us to reach out and support carers across the Swansea area."

Anyone who would like to contact the Swansea Carers Centre can call 01792 653344, drop in to the centre at 104 Mansel Street or e-mail


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