Carers Week in North Tyneside: Making Carers Visible

This year has been particularly challenging for carers, as responsibilities and caring roles have increased and new carers have been identified. According to Carers UK 4.5 million people became unpaid carers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. More people taking on caring roles or having their usual caring responsibilities increase, demonstrates a real need to ensure that carers voices are heard, that they are not forgotten and that the work they do is valued.

This year the theme for Carers Week was Making Carers Visible, and we at North Tyneside Carers’ Centre set out to do just that, to ensure that unpaid carers, both adult and young carers, were able to come together, support each other and celebrate simply just getting through the year. North Tyneside has a great community of carers, who we are proud to work with. We hope this community continues to come together and share experiences, as we come through this pandemic and beyond.

Throughout the week adult carers enjoyed craft sessions, online music nights and a trip to segedunum. They were able to meet other carers, take part in activities and have a break from their caring role. We understood the anxiety and worry of attending face to face sessions for the first time in over a year, so ensured there was always online options available. Carers week was supported by volunteers and a local celebrity; Dave from Lindisfarne, who all gave up their time to run activities for carers. Feedback tells us that everyone involved really enjoyed the week!

One carer who attended the Segedunum tour said: “It was a really enjoyable few hours. Really enjoyed wandering around the museum. It was great to meet people in person too!”

Another carer told us; “A big thank you to everyone at the Carers’ Centre involved in yesterday’s Lindisfarne session. It was brilliant.”

Feedback following sessions is important to us because carers voices matter and are at the heart of everything we do here at the Carers’ Centre.

Over at the young carers team, Youth Forum also worked together towards launching our Tik Tok channel, and filming our first Tik Tok video! They got together at the Rising Sun Country Park, even getting the staff involved!

The fun didn’t stop there, as over the weekend to bring Carers week to a close, young carers enjoyed a full weekend of outdoor activities at Powburn Activity Centre, supported by a team of Scout Volunteers. They took part in crate stacking, campfire cooking, archery, crafts and an assault course, for many young carers it was the first time they had been out of North Tyneside since the pandemic begun. A truly memorable weekend for all. “That was so fun”, one young person said, grinning from ear to ear. “Oh it’s so nice to see people again, I’m so happy,” another commented as everyone disembarked from the coach to start the days activities.

We are proud of the young carers in North Tyneside, who have juggled a pandemic, school work and their caring roles, that have often increased. For one week we made carers visible, the activities were about carers, young carers were able to have a break and adult carers were able to have some time to meet up with others who really do understand what caring means.

As a Carers’ Centre we know that carers need to be visible, not just for one week in the calendar, but for every day of the year.