Carers across Coventry are to get extra support to help combat the extra pressures and demands bought on by Covid-19.
The Council has agreed an enhanced carers support offer for people carrying out this vital role.
In Coventry there are approximately 17,000 adult carers and 1,700 young carers registered with Carers Trust Heart of England who lead carer support for the Council, and data from the 2011 census indicates that 32,101 people in Coventry provide some form of unpaid care.
Carers receive support including information and advice, networking, emergency support services and planned replacement care. Some carers are also eligible for breaks from their caring responsibilities to maintain their health and wellbeing.
However, the impact of Covid-19 has meant carers have been at greater risk of isolation due to less social contact and social distancing, day services have reduced capacity and many carers will also have concerns about their own futures.
Young carers have also been impacted by Covid-19. For many the caring role has intensified and the normal respite of going to school has not been available.
To help continue to support carers, a new package of extra services has been put in place to offer additional support to carers in Coventry.
Cllr Mal Mutton, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, agreed the enhanced support measures which include:
- Virtual day support to give carers a break and reduce isolation via 1-1 support in the home of the cared for person own home connecting them to other people being cared via tablets
- Carer Community Connection which aims to improve carers mental and physical health by supporting carers to connect to the community by accessing and developing activities
- Digital inclusion for carers by enabling carers to purchase IT equipment with one off direct payments, supporting carers to use IT and online platforms and by developing a range of courses to support carers
- Grief and Loss Support by establishing a specialised intervention focusing on grief and supporting a carer with self-care which will enable them to cope in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Supporting employers of working carers in an advocacy role with their employers and enabling employers to develop their support to carers which will enable carers to remain in the workforce
- Reducing Carer Hardship and Poverty by providing information, advice and signposting to job coaches and financial advice and by providing one off direct payments to carers when they are experiencing financial hardship to ensure that practical difficulties can be addressed easily.
- Improving Support for BAME Carers by ensuring BAME communities are enabled to access carers services and information
- Supporting Young Carers if more support is required as a result of Covid-19, their caring responsibilities and returning to school
Cllr Mutton said: “Coventry’s carers provide an absolutely vital role for their loved ones, many of whom would require more formal care should they not have their family member with them.
“It’s so important we and Carers Trust Heart of England keep supporting these heroes, now more than ever during this devastating time. I’m delighted we’ve been able to increase our help for carers. Carers support vulnerable friends and relatives day in and day out. Without the dedication of these carers the bill for Social Care could be a great deal higher’”
Sonja Woodhouse, CEO of Carers Trust Heart of England said: “The effects of the COVID pandemic has impacted us all and life may now look very different for people with caring responsibilities, especially those who are looking after someone that they care about for the first time.
“This project means that we can offer even more support to family carers in the city, recognising their vital role in helping to reduce pressures on health and social care We are very grateful for the additional support from Coventry City Council and for their commitment to carers in the city”
If you are a carer and would like more information on the support available, please contact the Coventry Wellbeing Team on telephone: 02476 632972 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org