Carers Week 2021 – Caring during COVID
We are holding a series of online drop-in sessions as Somerset Disability Engagement Service, starting this Friday 11th at 11am. We would love to see you there if you are a carer or have a disability of any kind.
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Guest blog: Pam McIntosh, Carer and Fundraising Volunteer in Somerset
I am a single mum and provide 24/7 care for my 30-year-old daughter who has autism as well as other challenging and complex physical and mental health problems. We receive 1:1 support for 24hours a week from Adult Social Care, so that my daughter can attend a day centre and activity centres for three days a week. This gives my daughter somewhere to go and I get a bit of ‘me time’ to volunteer in the local primary school, help with a newly formed Stoma group and attend a new community café.
This all ended with COVID and we were alone in the house shielding. So now what?
Our saving grace was Zoom, and for me personally the carers group which is run by Spark Somerset and the Somerset Carers Service. I saw the group on Facebook and thought, “why not?”. I can’t get out there, so let’s bring people into my life on a laptop. Despite my concerns about my IT skills, I bit the bullet and never looked back.
At the group, we chat about things that have gone well or are not going well. It makes you realise you are not alone. We share what we have been doing and Spark give us pointers to websites and links to get additional support. Everyone is so helpful. We have had guest speakers on varying topics and can ask for help on anything. You never feel intimidated or that what you are asking is silly.
I have met lots of new people, albeit online. It’s amazing how just seeing other people and talking helps you feel less isolated. Joining this group has also opened doors for me to join other groups led by Spark Somerset – today, I took part in a fundraising forum.
I look forward to the day I can get back to meeting carers face to face, but for now I would highly recommend this group. Onwards and upwards.