Making carers visible and valued

Carers May Thompson, Linda Craik and Mairi MacGillivray making sure they are visible and valued on a mindful walk.

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Communities, businesses and groups are being urged to help make carers visible and valued as part of a national awareness week.

North Argyll Carers Centre (NACC) is calling on supporters to join in Carers Week 2021 efforts to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution of all the unsung heroes across Oban, Lorn and the Isles who support family and friends who are older, have a disability or illness and need their extra help.

From Monday June 7 to Friday June 11, there will be a series of mindful walking events in Oban, Appin, Benderloch and Mull, with people who go along being invited to wear something bright to send out an eye-catching message that carers need to be noticed.

All of the walks are short and suitable for anyone who can walk up to two miles at a
leisurely pace unaided – to find out more, contact Mairi Fleck by emailing
mairi@northargyllcarers.org.uk

Community radio station Oban FM will also be broadcasting conversations with carers and Carer Centre staff during the week.

Mairi, who is NACC’s Learning and Development Co-ordinator, told The Oban Times: ‘Throughout the pandemic we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many local individuals who have come forward to volunteer in so many ways to help carers; collecting and delivering vital prescriptions, picking up essential supplies, and just going the extra mile to help others.

‘We would now like to invite potential volunteers to come and chat to us during carers week, to find out how they can continue to help our carers throughout the year.’

Anyone  interested, can pop up to NACC’s base in Albany Street on Wednesday June 9, 11am to 2.30pm and have a socially-distanced chat about how they can help ease the pressure on carers in their area.

And Mairi added: ‘We have developed a great range of groups and activities meeting on Zoom over the past year, and recognise the lifeline that these can give to carers in remote and rural areas, so we will be continuing to use Zoom for many more groups and activities, combined with meeting up in person again when we can do so safely.’

On Tuesday June 8, NACC’s Zoom Coffee Morning will include a special quiz, with the chance to win an afternoon tea delivered to a carers home – there will also be a live storytelling session from The Walking Theatre Company. Email Mairi for the Zoom code.

On behalf of the Carers Week charities, Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK,
said: ‘Looking after someone can be a hugely rewarding experience, but it sometimes
comes with difficulties, including getting the right support. This Carers Week, I hope
all parts of the community – family and friends, employers, businesses, schools,
health and care services – do their bit to make caring visible and show it is valued.’

This year Carers UK is joining forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Oxfam GB and Rethink Mental Illness to help raise awareness of caring around the country with hundreds of activities organised.

To find out more about what is happening in North Argyll, you can go to www.carersweek.org

Caption: Carers May Thompson, Linda Craik and Mairi MacGillivray making sure they are visible and valued on a mindful walk.
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