New year brings more help for carers

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More funding and a new base are set to be just some of the 2020 highlights for North Argyll Carers Centre.

The not-for-profit organisation, which enjoyed its Christmas lunch recently at the Royal Hotel, is looking forward to moving out of its Albany Street premises and into the Rockfield Centre later in the new year.

The move will give the organisation two rooms with office space and a multi-purpose area for meetings, activities and improved facility for one-to-one work, says manager Judith Hawcroft.

January is also set to bring in funding from the People’s Postcode Trust and will be used to raise more awareness on carers’ rights and what support they can get.

The organisation will be taking information out to areas with a new roadshow to get their message of help across.

There are more than 700 adult carers known to the group and more than 100 young and young adult carers but there will be many more.

‘We are aware there are many more who don’t identify as carers but need encouraging to come and see how we can help them,’ said Mrs Hawcroft.

It is not just caring for family that counts as being a carer – it could be supporting a neighbour or a friend too.

Earlier this month, the TSB handed over a cheque for £1,225.

Oban’s TSB branch manager Karen Sim and a colleague walked into work and back home to help raise funds as part of the bank’s Hike It, Bike It and Bake It initiative. A Christmas hamper has also been pulling in more funds with other events and activities the branch organised during the year.

The money will be used on giving carers respite whether it is trips or days out, spa treatments, supporting them to do activities or getting help with gardening.

‘We had a carers’ conference in Inveraray where we asked people what was most important to them. The top response was having time out so this money from the TSB is responding to that and giving carers time for themselves,’ added Mrs Hawcroft.

Oban Rotary Club has also given financial support to help young carers.

Carer Clark Rydings from Oban, who supports his wife Mary and also volunteers at the centre, said guidance he has had from the organisation has been invaluable.

‘Just being able to go there and speak to people who can give you a bit of guidance is such a big help and means so much. They are so down to earth.’

Photographs: Kevin McGlynn