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Cullingworth mum gets a welcome break - belly dancing
10:00am Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
A Bradford carer who used a special grant to go to an international belly dancing festival is urging others to claim their share of a £200,000 pot of cash to take for a well-deserved break.
Lesley Ogden, 48, who cares for her 15-year-old son Joseph, applied for a Carer’s Small Grant to take part in workshops and classes by dancers at the Jewel of Yorkshire belly dancing in Saltaire. Up to £200 is available to unpaid carers across Bradford, Airedale and parts of Wharfedale through the scheme, which allows them to take a break from the day-to-day pressures of caring for a loved one.
Lesley, of Cullingworth, whose son was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome 18 months ago, decided to apply for a grant after hearing it was available through Airedale and Wharfedale Autism Resource (AWARE).
“The belly dancing class I attend on a Monday at Oakbank School keeps me going every week and the chance to add an extra dimension to this by going to the festival and learning from the world’s best belly dancers was a fantastic opportunity for me,” she said.
“Dancing is something I love, it’s quite absorbing and good exercise, but people can use the money for all sorts of different things. I was lucky I heard about the scheme through AWARE.
“When you’re a carer it’s hard to fit in doing something for yourself, but it’s so important. I think people should definitely take advantage of the opportunity to do something they love.”
The money can be used to go on a break, take up a pastime or hobby, or enable carers to do something they had always wanted but never had the opportunity, such as learning a new skill.
Alison Woolley, of Eccleshill, cares for her partner and used her grant to help pay for 12 Turkish bath sessions in Harrogate. “It was an enormous help to me. I find the baths offer me the space and solitude where I can just refocus and regroup,” she said.
Heather Smith, the charity’s head of administration and facilities, said carers should use the grant to improve the quality of their health and well-being.
“It could be a gym membership or signing up to an art class, some exercise or relaxation videos, or maybe a laptop to keep in touch with friends and family further afield,” she said.
“We know from those who have benefited in the past that a relatively small amount of money can go a long way and make a real and lasting difference to their lives.”
More than 1,000 carers are expected to benefit from the scheme and they have until December 20 to submit their application.
It is open to anyone within Bradford district who cares for a family member, relative, friend or neighbour who suffers with a physical or mental health problem, drug or alcohol addiction, or due to frailty and old age.
Preference will be given to carers who have not received a Carer’s Small Grant within the past 12 months. The money cannot be used to pay for services, aids or adaptations for the cared-for person.
To receive an application form, call (01274) 965883 or e-mail smallgrant@ carersresource.org.
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