On #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek we would like to honour our inspiring carers who show resilience in abundance though they may never realise it. This year Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 14th to 20th May and is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation.
Nearly 69% of carers – older carers in particular – say that being a carer has had an adverse effect on their mental health. They admit, also, that 1 in 3 of them cancel treatments or operations for themselves because of their caring responsibilities for their loved ones. Furthermore, of all UK’s carers, 11% care for people with dementia.
So it’s important we thank them for their huge contribution towards the UK economy – year on year this is £132 billion. But more than that. We seek to honour them and praise their resilience.
Last week we were lucky to be invited to meet a group of carers in Huntingdon, near Cambridge. We hope, sincerely, that some of them take up our free offer to visit Kingham Cottage. The Carers Trust has been wonderful to After Umbrage helping us raise awareness of our charity so we can support more carers.
Back in April, we were in Ramsey, another Cambridgeshire town, meeting carers who were recently bereaved. I recall them saying that no matter how hard it was, how messy it was, how relentless the responsibility was of caring for their loved ones, they would rather they still have their loved one by their side. To us that demonstrates their strength, their energy and their ability to cope with stress, the theme of this year’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.
All our beneficiaries are very special people and here we tell the story of Keith and his lovely daughter Toni.
Alec and his Mum, Rachel also have a compelling story to tell.
So join us please, in our celebration of carers – those like Keith, Rachel and Denise (her story we have yet to publish) who we have met and helped and those carers we will meet one day at the doors of Kingham Cottage, our cottage and free retreat near Bath.