Thousands of carers need aid, says Sid Vale Carers UK

PUBLISHED: 12:30 12 March 2011

More than 20,000 people in South West struggle to care for an ill or disabled relative at home, without financial help from Government, Carers UK research shows.

THERE are more than 20,000 people in the South West struggling to care for an ill or disabled relative at home, without financial help from Government, Carers UK research shows.

Joan Bougourd of the Sid Vale branch of the national charity, says the group is anxious to reach out to local people in this position to help them access information and possible financial help.

Carers UK will have a stand at What’s on Your Mind at Sidmouth Methodist Church Hall, on Tuesday, March 15, from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

Joan said: “Often these people do not recognise themselves as carers, they just think that is what they should do and they do not realise there is help and support available for them.

“Yet there are millions of pounds set aside for carers allowances, which will go unclaimed this year while some carers cut back on food and heating to try to make ends meet.”

She said although the allowance was meagre, it was available for anyone under pensionable age who spends 35 hours or more caring. The person they care for must receive the attendance allowance or disability allowance. (More information at Care Direct (0845) 1551 007.

Joan said Carers UK was run by carers for carers and aimed to raise awareness of the needs and problems of carers to local authorities and Government.

The Sid Vale branch meets on the second Monday of each month at 2.15pm at Trumps Court, Ham Lane, Sidmouth.

There are talks, mainly connected with the caring role, and outings are held twice a year.

Joan said: “Carers find it helpful to meet other carers to share experiences as it is hard for anyone who has not been in that situation to appreciate how stressful it can be.”

More information from the secretary on (01395) 514664.

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