A new service will offer vital support to Barnsley’s thousands of unpaid carers.
It is estimated that 27,161 people in the borough spend at least part of their week looking after adult friends and relatives – that is more than one in 10 of the population.
The free to access service – called Barnsley Carers Service – will provide a large range of resources designed to improve unpaid carers’ quality of life. These will include drop-in sessions, information, advice, one to one provision, employment support, events and activities, befriending and assistance with accessing grant funding. It will be run by national adult health and social care charity Making Space.
According to Care UK, the consequences of feeling unsupported in a caring role can include social isolation (86%), worsening physical health (61%), mental health problems (70%), trouble sleeping (69%), a lack of time to exercise (54%), struggling to eat a healthy balanced diet (45%) and reducing their working hours (21%).
Barnsley MBC will invest almost half a million pounds in the borough-wide service over the next two years, based on the findings from its #BarnsleyCares Carers’ Strategy 2017-20. The new service has been designed in partnership with carers, partners and other care providers to give comprehensive support.
Cath Magee, area manger for Making Space, said: “We will be coordinating with partner organisations to improve the support and services offered to carers.
“As part of our offer, we will be working in partnership with Beacon South Yorkshire who will ensure carers of substance users in Barnsley are supported. This is a fantastic opportunity to harness the strengths of the local communities across Barnsley through this new combined model.”
Cllr Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Communities, said: “Our carers’ strategy highlighted the importance of recognising the value of carers and supporting them to get the help and assistance they need to remain healthy and independent, so they can continue to be effective in their caring role.
“This new service will bring real support to unpaid carers’ in our borough and strengthen our priority for people in Barnsley to stay healthier, happier, independent and active.”
Barnsley Carers Service launches on Wednesday 1 August and can be contacted at BarnsleyCarers@makingspace.co.uk or on 01226 288 772