Carers Week runs from Monday 8th June to Sunday 14th June this year and is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges Carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities.
As part of Carers week, individuals and organisations come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is.
Here are some thoughts, ideas, pictures, poems and stories about lockdown and life in general that we have received from Carers or others over recent weeks and months.
During lockdown, Tracey has been crocheting toys and scarves for orphans in Moldova, she makes up her own patterns and designs. Here are some of her creations and a link to read more about the children she makes them for: https://www.msrm.org.uk/
John told us about how adopting a rescue cat helped his mother, who had dementia, and his father who was her Carer at the time.
“In the earlier stages of dementia my mother would become confused and argumentative with my father who was doing his best to hide the problems. She would particularly interfere with cooking and put both of them at risk of injury.
Having a rescue cat gave her a focus so when she was "in our world" would fuss about looking after it as a priority leaving my father to do the less important job of cooking and cleaning.
As she progressed she would get confused and agitated, we were able to "suggest" that the cat needs food or attention, she never seemed to forget they had a cat!
Whilst sat in the afternoon watching TV she was not really engaged with it, but seemed to wander off happily into "mums world" maybe a childhood trigger or early life where she would gently stroke and talk to the cat for some time, giving vital respite to my father.
My mother had a stroke and passed away in hospital 4 years ago, the cat then played a secondary role with keeping my father company when I couldn’t be there.
Rescue centres locally could advise and give lots opportunities to help.”
Check out Aberystwyth’s Cats Protection website for information: https://www.cats.org.uk/aberystwyth
Rosy told us that her and her husband have been busy in the garden laying the patio, making raised beds and building the new garden shed, all paid for by the Ceredigion Carers Fund. All hopefully ready in time for summer.
Earlier in the year, a Carer gave us an update on her new bee colony that was funded by the Ceredigion Carers Fund:
“The bees are very busy at the moment building wax comb for which they need water. I have no birds on my bird bath, just bees taking water back to the hive. I counted 20 all round the edge yesterday and the water level had dropped by about 0.5 of an inch in12 hours!”
(stock photo, not actual bee colony!)
Sheila sent us a poem about life in lockdown and the Newquay life boat crew. Apologies, poem is in English only. We would love to receive any Welsh poems if there are any budding Welsh poets out there.
Dan & Gang
What can I say about our Dan?
Not only is he a delivery man!
His surname is Potter
And what a lotta
journeys he has done
In rain or sun!
During this period of isolation
We’ve done some contemplation.
New Quay and the Lifeboat Crew
Have found many things to do!
To help the local population
Back and fore to help the nation!
Deliveries of prescriptions from chemist
and lots of other stock!
To keep us supplied and not without
Our vicar has also been about!
We must thank and applaud
Also pray to the lord!
The local Doctors, nurses, carers
Will see us through,
Also Dan and the lifeboat crew!
Thanks from the bottom of our hearts
To all of you who have played your parts
Positive thinking is our only chance
Then we definitely will be having a dance??
By Sheila Roberts
Create your own traditional fair or summer fete: You don’t have to be a child to enjoy, this appeals to all ages and gives you a chance to embrace your inner child away from digital screens. We’ve given you a few ideas to get you started and notes on what you need:
- Coconut shy - a small soft ball and some weighted “coconuts” balanced on a wall/the edge of a cardboard box/some bamboo sticks stuck into the lawn
- Bowling – a ball and some bottles
- Hoopla/quoits – some circles and something to throw them over – sticks in the lawn/
- Tin can alley – a small soft ball and some tin cans
- Ball in the bucket - small, soft bouncy ball and a bucket/large bowl. Don’t have any small, soft bouncy balls for your ball in bucket game? Scrunch up some newspaper or magazine pages into a ball!
- Stand the bottle – a bottle, a long stick and some string
- Hopscotch – chalk
You don’t need to buy lots of fancy games or equipment; use what you have at home already, think things that you would normally put straight into the recycling bins; yoghurt pots, tin cans, glass bottles…..Don’t have a garden space? Clear some space on the floor at home or on a table top and create a mini-version of the traditional games - we’ve all played cards, flip the coin, tiddlywinks etc see what else you can come up with! Half the fun is coming up with the games and the ways to make them! All you need is a bit of imagination
Silian man gives Captain Moore a run for his money / The Rhythwyn Evans ‘fundraising effect’: We’ve all heard of Captain Tom Moore’s fundraising efforts, but closer to home we have our own Ceredigion based fundraisers of equal ilk and dedication. To celebrate his 91st Birthday back in April, Rhythwyn Evans from Silian, set himself a personal challenge. Inspired by, and in solidarity with Captain Tom Moore, he pledged to walk around his home 91 times in 1 day. He hoped to raise £3000 for the Hywel Dda NHS COVID-19 Appeal, organised by Hywel Dda Health Charities to show his gratitude for the outstanding work of our local workers in these extremely challenging times. He did indeed complete that challenge and smashed his fundraising target to reach a staggering £44,162 (correct at the time of writing this)! Read his story here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/david-evans186
We would also like to invite you to share your thoughts, stories, skills and ideas with each other after Carers Week. Send anything that you want to share with other Carers to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to:
Ceredigion County Council
Gofalwyr Ceredigion Carers – Special Audio Series
Gofalwyr Ceredigion Carers have produced a special audio series for Carers Week 2020.
Coronavirus lockdown measures have resulted in an array of challenges for carers. For this special series we have brought together carers from a variety of backgrounds whose conversations provide us a glimpse of their lives and responsibilities. The carers featured in the series have never met in person before.
- In this episode we are going to hear from John and Eric whose wives have recently moved to care homes and neither of which have been able to visit their wives since the start of lockdown.
- Merri and Steff are young parent carers who both have sons with autism. Their Gofalwyr Ceredigion Carers outreach worker saw that they had a lot in common and asked if they would like to be put in touch with each other as part of our Carers Buddy Scheme. They agreed and have been keeping in touch on social media since the beginning of lockdown. Here they talk about the challenges, joys and uncertainties of life under lockdown.
- Ann and Liz have recently had to adjust to life after caring. A tender and incredibly honest conversation.
- Aled and David talk about the challenges of caring for a loved one 24/7, 50 -100 hrs a week, and the campaign to push for a ‘Carers Wage’. We put some of their issues to local MP Ben Lake.
The Mocktail Bar!
Try these non-alcoholic cocktails – you’ll be surprised at how good they taste
- 1 part orange juice
- 1 part lime juice
- 3 parts sour mix
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the ingredients and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled cocktail glass.
To make a long drink, use a highball glass and top up with lemonade.
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
Stir together well. Keeps in the fridge for up to 7 days.
- 4 parts pineapple juice
- 1 part grapefruit juice
- 1 part lemon juice
- 1 part apple juice
- 2 parts coconut cream
- Double cream
- Desiccated coconut
Blend the coconut cream and fruit juices together with ice. Pour into cocktail glasses and top with lightly whipped double cream and a sprinkling of desiccated coconut.
- 100g blueberries
- 100g blackberries
- 50g raspberries
- 10 ml lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- Soda water
Blend the berries, lemon juice and sugar. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top up with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of mint.