Download AGM Letter & ReplySlip: AGM Invitation 2019
What is the ‘Time for ME’ Fund?
Gateshead Carers Association has been awarded the contract for administering this Carers Wellbeing Fund by Newcastle Gateshead CCG.
It is funding which enables eligible unpaid parent carers to access a break from their caring role. A parent carer is defined as a parent who is caring for a child (aged under 18) with a disability, complex need, chronic health, a long term health condition or a substance misuser.
The award of a ‘Time for ME’ grant should lead to at least one of the following outcomes for parent carers;
The ‘Time for ME’ fund is available until end of June 2018. There is limited money available so not all applications will be successful.
How much can I apply for? The maximum grant award is £200 although some restrictions do apply (more details about what the grant can be used for is given below).
What sort of things can I apply for? A grant from the Carers Wellbeing Fund can be used for something that clearly gives you a break, supports you in your caring role, and/or maintains or improves your own health and wellbeing. For example:
To apply, you must contact Gateshead Carers Association and complete our Time for ME application form to be returned to us at: Gateshead Carers Association, John Haswell House, 8/9 Gladstone Terrace, Gateshead, NE8 4DY.
Your details will then be entered onto our referral database and one of our Carer Wellbeing Facilitators will contact you to discuss your application. It is important that you read the terms and conditions fully before making your application.
Our carers enjoyed ‘Caring and Sharing’ today at our regular Carers Cafe held at the Watergate cafe, Whickham. Sharon’s delicious homemade scones are always a treat too! We meet there on the first Tuesday of every month.
If you live in or around Birtley why not join us this Thursday for our Birtley Carers Cafe 10.30-12.30 at The Birtley Resource Hub. We meet at Birtley on the second Thursday of every month.
Meet others in a friendly & informal environment over a cuppa & cake! It’s a great way to make new friends, support each other and have a laugh.
Call 0191 4900121 for more details.
Gateshead Carers WON the North East Equality Award for small to medium sized organisations at the North East Equality Awards 2017 ceremony held at the Hilton Gateshead on Thursday 19th October 2017.
The charity, which is celebrating its 21st Anniversary this year, was up against some stiff competition in the Small to Medium Sized Organisations category, making the win even more prestigious; FACT , Paul J Watson, 2 Way Tenancy Solutions, Hart Gables, Skills4Work (Gateshead) Ltd, The Twisting Ducks Theatre Company and DISC.
Steve Cowen, CEO of Gateshead Carers, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised for our equality and diversity demonstrated within our local community. We are committed to turning policy into action and are a charity which aims to make a significant positive difference in the lives of adult carers by efficiently and effectively providing the highest quality personalised, asset / strength based carer support in Gateshead. This is a fantastic achievement.”
A Carer is anyone who cares unpaid for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age. Many feel they are just doing what anyone else would do in the same situation; looking after their mother, son or best friend and just getting on with it, but without the right support carers may find their own health and wellbeing suffers in the process.
Across the UK it is estimated that 7 Million people provide unpaid care to someone and while the majority accept their caring responsibilities, without the right support the personal cost of caring can be high. There are estimated to be 22,000 carers in Gateshead alone.
At Gateshead Carers, their commitment to equality and diversity is embedded in their approach to engaging with all unpaid adult carers in Gateshead. Their website is now instantly translatable into over 100 languages with 30 of those languages being available in audio. This has helped to establish regular carer support groups for Muslim Men, Muslim women, Chinese, Czech/Roma, Polish, Asylum Seekers and Refugees. They work with carers of 18 different languages and have recently established an Eritrean support group.
This award is the latest of a series of awards and recognitions achieved by Gateshead Carers over the last 18 months: • NE Equality Award • Better Health at Work Gold Award • Centre of Excellence Award for Carer’s Services • Good and Efficient Charity – Endorsement by the Charity Commission • PQASSO Quality Mark Award at Level 2
Steve added: “As CEO I am proud to be part of this organisation, proud of the work we do to support carers and proud of the work every member of my team has done to get us to where we are”.
The Gateshead Carers Survey provides the most comprehensive information on the lives of carers in Gateshead. It was introduced in 2011 and is repeated every 3 years. This being the third survey we are now able to identify trends which are developing over time in key areas of carer’s lives. The 2017 survey also provides an opportunity to develop our understanding of the impact of the Care Act 2015.
To view our findings: CarerSurvey2017_Report_small
Gateshead Carers were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Gateshead, Cllr. Allison Thompson, along with other invited and distinguished guests, to the official launch of their eLearning website designed specifically for Working Carers and Employers in Gateshead. The event was held at HMS Calliope, Gateshead, on the evening of Tuesday 28th February 2017.
This new site, developed in collaboration with Northumbria University staff and students, is specifically designed to support employers and working carers who live or work in Gateshead and work full or part time whilst also providing unpaid care for a family member or friend. People can use the site to access a carers’ awareness e-Learning course, which aims to raise awareness and increase knowledge and understanding of the nature of the caring role, particularly within the working environment.
This project is an excellent example of how collaboration between the private and voluntary sector, local council and local businesses and further education, can come together to benefit Working Carers and Employers both locally and nationally!
In addition to a range of written materials, the site is packed with videos, templates, self-assessments forms, case studies, links to online resources, recommended reading and relevant research. Upon studying all of the topics, visitors will be able to earn a well-deserved Carer Aware Certificate.
This free resource will be of particular value to:
At the launch event, guests were invited to pledge their support helping to build a ‘Carer Friendly Community’ by adding a signed brick to our Lego Pledge House. This theme continues into the year as part of the national strategy for Carers Week 2017 (12-18 June).
The website also has an accessibility toolbar, provided by Gateshead company Recite Me, making it fully accessible to everyone it aims to support. For example, nine per cent of the carers Gateshead Carers’ supports are from a BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) background, whilst eighteen different languages are spoken across its network of carers. Recite Me is perfect for translating the e-learning site content into over 100 languages for them, whilst also making the site fully accessible to people with a disability, learning difficulty, or impairment. It gives people a range of options which are represented by easy to understand icons in a toolbar that appears at the top of each web page. They allow people to change elements of the website such as the font size and font colour, in order to make text easier to read. Anyone who visits the site can also use the toolbar to quickly and easily have the text read aloud to them.
Katalin Bartos, Employer Support Officer at Gateshead Carers, said: “We wanted to create an easily accessible, flexible and cost effective learning site for employers and working carers to use at their own pace, time and location. We had previously spoken to carers we support about the help and support they need and access to information online was a top requirement”.
For further information about the new working carers and employers e-Learning website please contact: Katalin Bartos, Employer Support Officer, Gateshead Carers, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos (l to r): Martin Robertson (Recite Me); Peter Dillon, Steve Cowen, Jamie Steane; Sharon Lesley Connelly, Lynn Parker, Chris Ogle, Martin Robertson, Deborah Bradshaw; The Mayor of Gateshead Cllr. Allison Thompson, Steve Cowen (CEO of Gateshead Carers Association).
Thank you to all of our carers, trustees, staff and supporters who joined us for our 2016 AGM, which was held on Friday 25th November to coincide with Carers’ Rights Day.
This year we were treated to a fantastic drama performance by students from Northumbria University’s Drama and Performing Arts Degree courses who staged a drama based on carers’ issues and experiences. For the past 6 weeks, the students have been researching, interviewing both carers and support workers here at GCA, attending carers’ trips and activities and really immersing themselves into the world of unpaid adult carers. This research and understanding enabled them to write a highly polished drama that highlights the issues that carers face on a daily basis through their emotive and often humorous performance.
We were thrilled to be working with the students which all stemmed from a talk delivered to them by our CEO, Steve Cowen. Most of the students had never heard of unpaid carers and did not know anything about the issue. When hit with the statistics that there are over 6.8million people in the UK providing unpaid care for a loved one (of which 22,000 unpaid carers are in Gateshead), they were shocked!
Our hope is that their performance, which has been filmed by Northumbria University, can be shared and will help to inform us all about the issues and equip us better with understanding and positive steps that we can all take to help each other.
As part of our AGM celebrations our Chair of Trustees, David Clelland, proudly presented our 2016 Volunteer Awards in recognition of our carers who give back to the community through their volunteering for GCA in addition to their caring role. This year the Volunteer of the Year 2016 Award was given to a group of 9 carers who have formed the Created by Carers group. Throughout the year they have worked so hard making a wonderful range of arts and crafts, which they have taken to various events and fairs in our community, with all proceeds being donated to GCA to further fund the groups’ activities. A further 15 carers were also duly recognised with Volunteer 2016 Awards and we are grateful to each and everyone one of them. Congratulations to all of them!
Our thanks also go to the Somosa Sisters who provided the delicious food for our AGM and for which we received so many wonderful comments.
2016 has been an even busier year for Gateshead Carers which an ever increasing demand for our services but we are delighted to have been there to provide information and support to the carers of Gateshead and look forward to another busy and successful year to come.
3 in 5 people will be carers at some point in their lives and it is estimated that by 2037 there will be 9 million carers in the UK. Following a survey in 2010, the BBC estimated that there are 700,000 young carers in the UK. Based on Census figures there are estimated to be at least 376,000 young adult carers in the UK aged 16–25. Estimates show that the care provided by friends and family members to ill, frail or disabled relatives is equivalent to £119 billion every year (Valuing Carers Leeds University / Carers UK 2011). Gateshead Carers currently supports over 3,500 carers living and or working in Gateshead, a borough that has more carers than the national average. 11.1% of the population of Gateshead have a caring role, which is significantly higher than the national average of 10.3%.
Thank you to everyone for supporting our Carers Week Party in the Park event held in Saltwell Park on Wednesday 8th June. Alongside our amazing carers, we were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor Allison Ilderton-Thompson, some very talented musicians from Gateshead Academy of Music and Gateshead FC footballers JJ O’Donnell, Ben Clark and Adam Wrightson, as well as their General Manager Mike Coulson and Press Officer Rory Mitchinson.
With 40 stallholders providing an array of information including stalls offering health & well being support, arts & crafts activities and wonderful gifts to purchase, it was a great opportunity for carers to come together and to have some fun. Our Scrufts Dog Show proved a popular attraction again, which this year was kindly sponsored by Oscar pet foods, and with the Mayor and our footballer guests judging, there was even more reason for our canine friends to put their best paw forward!
Our ‘pamper tent’ provided by Peace of Mind, was a hub of activity with head massages, nail art and henna tattoos proving to be really popular with our party goers. A special thanks must also go to our Created by Carers team who handcrafted a beautiful selection of gifts including hen power door stops, crochet and knitted goods, wooden coasters and bead mobiles to name but a few. If you missed out on these, please pop in to John Haswell House to take a look. We received some lovely comments from our visitors who added a leaf to our special Caring and Sharing tree letting us know what caring and our events mean to them.
With the sun shinning for us our Party in the Park, in the beautiful surroundings of Saltwell Park, was once again a huge success and we look forward to seeing you all again next year!!