Supporting carers throughout the crisis

by Handymag

Ryedale Carers Support is a local voluntary organisation and registered charity that provides practical and emotional help for carers, the people they care for and older people living on their own. The service is provided by volunteers who can visit weekly, fortnightly or monthly for a couple of hours or so.

A sitting service enables carers to have a break from their responsibilities. This service is free to carers as the costs are met by the organisation. The visiting service gives elderly people who live alone some much needed company and there are lots of support groups that usually meet each month giving carers a place to receive some positive support and simply take time out to relax.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the team have been continuing to support carers, those being cared for and the lonely and isolated across Ryedale.

Volunteers have provided regular telephone befriending calls and are very much looking forward to the time when lockdown eases so that they can resume regular visits to sit with the cared for to give their carers a break. Having a cup of tea and chat with someone who is feeling lonely and isolated is a critical part of the work.

The charity’s usual activities include Songs and Scones, Farmer’s Breakfast, Support Group for Carers and the Walking Group and these have all been postponed until they have permission to meet again. In the meantime, the team have been keeping in touch with everyone by letter, sharing interesting quizzes, adult colouring sheets and for those with ipads and smartphones, links to Zoom Book Clubs as well as musical entertainment. Local group Musical Memories has been providing a daily sing-a-long and there has been Live Music Now and audio theatre at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.

Claire Hall says “We’re still here and happy to take referrals from anyone needing support. During lockdown Ryedale Carers Support has been part of the Community Support Organisation co-ordinating shopping and prescription collections for those self- isolating or shielding.”

The group would love to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer, either as a telephone befriender or, in the future, to visit someone as a friend or help with activities. Volunteers can help with an hour or two a week, fortnight or monthly, or whatever suits. Ryedale Carers Support helps iron out any problems that may occur, pays travel expenses and organises regular get-togethers providing an opportunity to meet other volunteers.
If you are interested in helping to provide practical help for local carers, please call Ryedale Carers Support on 01751 432288 or email them at enquiries@ryedalecarers.org.uk or visit their website at www.ryedalecarers.org.uk

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