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.

Caring for a person with health needs or disability can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience but there can also be challenging aspects to caring. Many carers report that they suffer with stress and anxiety, feelings of guilt, a loss of confidence and a feeling that they cannot take some time for themselves away from the caring role.

Carers are often looking after people who live with complex health conditions and it is not unusual for carers to look after more than one person. Managing the welfare of the person you care for often means less time managing your own work/life balance, which can leave Carers feeling over stretched and under pressure. The majority of Carers struggle on alone ignoring their own needs, not even realising how their caring role has impacted on their own life.

Caring And Living Matters (CALM) Wellbeing Sessions

Your wellbeing is at the heart of the sessions we run for carers. We aim firstly to encourage you to think about your own health and secondly, to enable you to build up resilience, so that you can carry on in your caring role with greater confidence if you wish to do so.

Gateshead Carers Association has worked alongside carers in Gateshead for over twenty years. We have specialist and understanding staff who are aware of the needs of carers and the challenges they face.

We run sessions for carers in informal small groups where carers can talk openly. The sessions allow you to get away from your caring role and spend time looking after yourself. The groups are made up of carers who experience similar challenges. Talking to other people who are in similar situations can be a great help when you are feeling stressed.

The groups consist of five sessions looking at stress, guilt, confidence building, making time for yourself and planning for future goals.

The sessions enable carers to build relationships, connect and support each other in an informal environment. Each session gives carers a safe space to think and reflect on their own experiences as a carer. There will also be opportunities to explore other ways of thinking and discover new ways to cope.

At present due to Covid-19 and home working, we are not offering our small group sessions, but we are continuing to offer 1-2-1 sessions with one of our experienced Carer Wellbeing Facilitators. Once we are able to return to our offices at John Haswell House we will make plans to resume our in person group sessions both at our offices and other locations throughout Gateshead. We currently have a variety of group and activities that you can attend online - these can be found on our Groups and Activities page.

Our website will be regularly updated to alert you to future dates and events.

All carers are warmly invited to join us for any or all of these sessions even if you have never used our services in the past.

For further information please contact Janice Hall on 0191 4900121.