Posts Tagged ‘carers centre’

St Helens Carers Centre now has a Breaks Officer who can help you towards getting a carers break payment. The amount of funding is dependent on your caring role and not on your financial situation – it is NOT means tested.

The fund can be used for any break – as long as it gives you a break from your normal day to day caring role.

The fund comes from the PCT who were allocated the money. Gordon Brown has said about this fund:

‘We have set aside the money; I want to see it spent. It is a necessary means by which we can support the energy of carers, who need time off, and therefore need respite care to be available.’

We have asked the PCT to confirm the amount available for carers in St Helens – and for a breakdown of proportions spent on people supporting someone with mental health needs. We’d also like to know how carers were involved in the decisions on how to allocate the money.

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Caring with Confidence is a free programme which aims to improve carers’ lives and the lives of the people they support.

Many carers have been very cynical about it. When carers already have busy lives, and are already coping with a lot, why should they be expected to learn more? What good can it do?

But having seen one group go through the whole course, I can definitely say that its worth making time to attend the sessions. Its always good to speak to others in a similar position. It makes you feel less alone and that you’re not the only one wondering if you’re doing it right.

The group sessions are built around learning from each other. Everyone learnt something, but also everyone taught each other something.

And they were fun and a chance to have a laugh! (more…)

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It’s the time for the annual self assessment exercise for the PCT. This is the section on carers. We want to hear your views. Do you feel involved in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of services – are they red, amber or green?


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Welcome to the new blog for St Helens Mental Health Carers. I’m hoping this will be easier to update than the old site. Times have certainly changed since we started it 5 years ago. 

Five years ago:

  • there was one family support worker
  • the family support worker didn’t go onto the wards at all
  • the Carers Centre had just opened with 3 support workers
  • most of us hadn’t heard of carers assessments
  • at the top of our wish list was the closure of the Sherdley Unit – we never thought that would ever happen!


  • there are  three family support workers
  • the family support workers go onto the wards regularly and now hold monthly group sessions
  • I’ve lost count of how many people work at the Carers Centre now (sorry!) and there are all sorts of projects including the Income Maximisation worker
  • most of us have been offered an assessment
  • St Helens services are now provided in the state of the art St Helens Hope & Recovery Centre

Plus of course now more and more people recognise that a carer is an unpaid family member or friend who supports someone else because of frailty, illness or disability.

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