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Bedfordshire's carers cafes are a lifeline

09 June 2015

Carers’ cafes in Bedfordshire are a lifeline for local people and offer a friendly welcome to carers, as well as those they look after, in a sociable environment where experienced staff are on hand to offer support and help.

But carers are sometimes the ones who need help which is why Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) wants local people to know about the positive impact the cafes can have on carers’ lives and the services they offer.

Carers play an invaluable role in the community looking after people of all age groups and needs, from the under-fives, to those with serious long term illness or older people with dementia. They may be looking after someone with complex medical or emotional needs, or they may become isolated because of the demands of their role as a carer or find it difficult to get a proper break.

Carer’s cafes can be life changing, and they provide a wide range of services including training courses in topics such as dementia care, as well as specialist advice from experienced staff and information about carers’ grants and breaks for carers.

Roger Claxton, carers’ café co-ordinator said: “We know that many carers experience stressful lives, which is why it is so important for them to be able to relax in a friendly atmosphere and meet others in a similar situation. Carers are welcome to come to the cafes with the person they care for, with family members or by themselves. Stress relieving treatments and a bit of pampering, such as manicures, hairdressing, chiropody and foot care are available for those who are currently carers as well as for those being cared for.

“Carers who live a distance away from the person they care for, or who are who have lost the person they care for are also made welcome.”

Carers’ cafes are based all over the county in Biggleswade, Eaton Bray, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard and Bedford. Getting to your local carers’ café is made easy as transport is available for £1 and can be arranged in advanced. Under 5’s travel free.

There is a fee of £1 per person (under-fives free) to attend the carer’s café. To find out more or to book transport or a pampering treatment (which cost £2) call 0300 111 1919 or visit http://www.carersinbeds.org.uk/

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