A Yorkshire charity is marking Carers’ Week by starting a new initiative using cyberspace to link together the growing number of people looking after a loved one at home.
More than one in seven people in the county carry out a day-to-day role as an unpaid carer for an ill, frail or disabled family member – and as an ageing population grows at an ever-faster pace, this figure is increasing.
The independent charity Carers Resource, which has offices in Bradford and Skipton, will unveil a new online forum next week.
From the comfort of their own home, carers will be able to link up with others in the community as well as with the team of volunteers from the charity as part of an extension to its Caring Callers service.
Carers’ Resource founding director Anne Smyth said: “The relentless nature of their role means that the lives of carers, and the people they care for, often suffer from isolation.
“Creating a new online community will help to banish this feeling of loneliness and offer a new dimension to the range of support and specialist advice that we provide to carers and vulnerable people.
“For the first time, it gives them the opportunity to share their experiences, advice and encouragement by reaching out and chatting with other carers in their community as well as further afield.
“For those who can’t get out to groups and activities because of their caring role, or because they have other demands on their time or have mobility issues, it’s a wonderful way for people to communicate with others and to make new friends from the comfort of their home.
“Since its launch, Caring Callers has proved a real success in filling a gap in the range of support that is available and the start of an online forum seemed a natural step forward for it.”
The online forum is being launched at three of the charity’s offices during Carers Week, when carers and their clients are encouraged to learn more.
Skipton Library will host a launch from 10am to noon on the same day.
Carers’ Resource is also looking for volunteers to act as moderators for the forum and to support those who are interested in accessing it.