Taking a break from caring duties

1st November 2021

13% of Cumbria’s population are unpaid carers – someone who is looking after a relative or friend who, due to a disability, illness, or old age, cannot manage at home without their help. Almost a quarter provide a staggering 50 or more hours of unpaid care each week.

Eden Carers is one of five independent, geographically based, charitable carers organisations in Cumbria providing free advice, support, and respite to around 800 people.

“It has been a challenging 18 months for everyone, especially those with an unpaid caring role. There has been no break from their caring,” said Dani Leslie, CEO. “We have been providing telephone and online support, however, there is nothing that can replace meeting up with others and taking a step away from caring for an hour or two.”

The charity runs a monthly men’s hub, and it was one activity that was able to continue during the pandemic due to being able to meet outdoors. It is a self-help group where carers plan their activities, and it gives them respite from their daily duties.

The cost of activities is usually met by donations but during the pandemic, Eden Carers was unable to fundraise. £600 from the Rowan Community First Fund meant that the monthly men’s bub, led by volunteer Mark, could continue to thrive, and offer subsidised activities that the carers would not normally participate in. Activities in the past have included bowling, darts, archery, golf, outdoor adventure, and walks.

“The men’s hub allows me to have a break from caring. I get to talk to people who understand what I am talking about, I don’t have to explain. We also, with the grant, can do activities that I wouldn’t make time to do because of my caring role.  I can switch off and enjoy myself.”