Could you volunteer for Carers Support Centre?
Published on: 31 Mar 2017
CARERS Support Centre has put out an urgent appeal for more volunteers for its sitting service in Downend, Staple Hill and Emersons Green.
The charity, based at the Vassall Centre, provides people to sit with people wo that their unpaid family carers can take a break.
The service is free but a shortage of sitters means there is a long waiting list.
Volunteers typically give two or three hours per week or fortnight and receive training and support. Their help means a carer can take regular time out to meet friends, go shopping or enjoy a hobby
Marilyn Crump, sitting service co-ordinator said: “A volunteer needs to be someone a carer can trust and who wants to build a relationship with the cared for person. We take time to find out about and train volunteers so that we can match them carefully to a family. This means that carers can take a regular break in complete confidence that the person they care for will be happy and safe.”
For example, Ray is 69 and cares for his wife, Irene. She has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. They have been married for 48 years and for the last three Irene has been a totally different person; it has been heart-breaking for Ray. Since Irene’s diagnosis he has experienced a loss of independence, until he found a sitter through the Carers Support Centre.
They matched Irene with Barbara, who visits once a week and the two have really hit it off. Ray is enjoying being able to see his friends again.
He said: “The sitting service is a lifesaver. It is just two hours a week, but you can put up with an awful lot if you know that you can get a break.
“It's the only time I meet up with friends I’ve known for 50 years. Barbara is a very creative person and Irene always seems to be quite happy when I get back in. Just recently Barbara has got Irene knitting again. She has always enjoyed art and craft work.”
To find out more about volunteering please contact Marilyn on 0117 937 5622 or mobile 07722 283 672 or email: Marilync@carerssupportcentre.org.uk