Reaching out to city’s army of 23,000 unpaid carers

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HULL’S army of unpaid carers are being urged to find out what help and support they can get at a series of information roadshows this week.

A Carers’ Information Bus staffed by a range of support agencies will be visiting different parts of the city from today until Saturday with the aim of easing the burden shouldered by an estimated 23,000 unpaid carers in Hull.

Supported by the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund and delivered by The Carers’ Centre, Hull, the project is designed to help carers learn how they can improve their own health and well being.

As well as receiving information and guidance, carers can find out about particular initiatives aimed at them, including discounted gym membership for registered carers, and a free therapeutic massage service for carers and disabled people being offered by the British Red Cross.

Coun Rilba Jones, city council portfolio holder for health and equalities, said: “Everywhere in the country services are dependent on the very important contribution of unpaid carers, some of whom are not even related to the people they care for.

“This will provide important information and support for those who help others and I will even have a look myself.”

A carer can be anyone who looks after someone else for a variety of reasons, such as illness, disability, mental health issues or substance misuse.

Beverley Shore, outreach development worker at The Carers’ Centre, said: “This week is all about reaching out to the 23,000 unpaid carers in this city, promoting what services are available and making sure they get the right level of support.

“Unfortunately, many are coping on their own, can be quite vulnerable themselves and are not aware of the kind of support they can get.

“This about saying they are not on their own; there’s a whole network of support out there and that’s why we are going out to people rather than expecting them to come to us.”

The bus will be at Walton Street Market from 8am to noon today, at Elmbridge Parade in Annandale Road from 10am to 4pm tomorrow, and between the same times at Tesco supermarket in Hall Road on Friday, and Queen Victoria Square on Saturday.