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Carers given the chance to create support networks

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 12, 2014

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CARERS looking after people with disabilities in East Staffordshire will soon have access to a new network of support groups throughout the county.

Staffordshire County Council is setting up groups in each district that will provide dedicated carers with the access to the support they need on a regular basis. The groups will give them the opportunity to meet others in a similar situation and have their views heard. In addition, they will be able to try out new technologies designed to help them and the people they care for.

Throughout Staffordshire there are more than 19,000 school age children who receive support for their special education needs, more than 2,350 of whom have a learning disability. Furthermore, there are 17,000 adults with some level of learning disability.

As a result, there are nearly 100,000 people in the county who provide care to someone with an illness or disability, with more than 35,000 of these providing at least 20 hours worth of care per week.

The county council’s cabinet support member for care, Alan White, said: “We are working closely with carers to ensure these groups offer the right kind of support for them, and to make them as convenient as possible to attend.

“It is essential that carers get the chance to talk to other carers in a similar situation, share ideas and issues, and get access to the wealth of support that is out there for them.”

Mr White said that the opportunity is there for carers to steer the group themselves with minimal intervention. He added: “There will be no agenda, just a chance for people to get together, talk about their experiences and see what services they can access from a variety of different sources.

“It is essential we give carers support and recognise the important contribution they make to health and wellbeing in Staffordshire.”

For more information on the groups being set up, email carers@staffordshire.gov.uk or debra.brown@thedoveservice.org

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