It’s the beginning of a new month, one which is usually the most frantic yet eagerly-anticipated of the year. December 2020 will be one for the record books as residents in North Tyneside are officially placed in “Tier 3” measures this week.
As millions of us look forward to the Christmas break, statistics published by Carers UK in October 2020 highlighted the worrying news that 64% of carers have not been able to take any breaks at all in the last six months.
We are very aware that as COVID-19 restrictions across the borough continue to restrict our movements and postpone a much-needed break with family and friends over the festive period that carers are feeling more isolated than ever. Concerns are still high about leaving the home and having people coming in to provide support due to the vulnerability of the people they care for. We know that 4 in 5 unpaid carers (81%) are currently providing more care than before lockdown and that more than half (58%) of carers surveyed by Carers UK have seen their physical health impacted by caring through the pandemic. Worryingly, 64% said their mental health has worsened, most notably as visits to care homes, discharges from hospital and vital services for carers and those you care for have been significantly disrupted this year.
If you are reaching breaking point, or looking for advice please get in touch. Our staff team are working from home to provide carers with practical and emotional support during these turbulent times.
It’s certainly not all bad news this month though – we are planning an afternoon of landmark celebrations on Friday 15th December for carers and staff as the Centre turns 25! Our celebrations will be held virtually this year, so please do follow us on social media or subscribe to our mailing list to join our celebrations. We’re also hosting a range of virtual festive events, starting with Flower Arranging on 22nd December, 2-3pm for carers. In other happy news, we’re delighted to have welcomed onboard 3 new members of staff in recent weeks across the Young Carer and Adult Carer teams which will enable us to increase capacity to support more carers in 2021. We are also delighted to announce that North Tyneside Carers’ Centre has been awarded Freedom of the Borough by North Tyneside Council – the highest honour a council can bestow on an individual or organisation for our hard work.
Under government tier 3 restrictions non-essential shops, gyms and outdoor sports facilities will be reopening from Wednesday 2 December. Locally, this means Contours gyms, swimming pools and outdoor sports facilities will be available to residents once again, with restrictions on some indoor activities, which will be welcome news to carers who enjoy these activities.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, volunteers and trustees at the Centre for their exceptional hard work in what has been a year like no other. Throughout the pandemic our focus has remained the same as ever: supporting carers. Please pick up the phone and call us on 0191 643 2298 or access Live Chat on our website, if you would like information and advice or are having a bad day. Our staff are here to help you.
Stay safe and stay well.