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Craven charity's plea for volunteers to give unpaid carers "time off"

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Published by Lisa Darvill at 7:33am 11th June 2019.

A Craven charity has made a desperate plea for volunteers to help run a service which provides respite for unpaid carers. 

  • Carers' Resource supports around 16,000 unpaid carers across Skipton, Harrogate and Bradford 
  • It's marking Carers Week 2019 
  • It's calling for more volunteers for its "Carers' Time Off" scheme, which offers respite for carers and the people they look after 
  • It especially needs volunteers in the Dales 

Carers' Resource is a charity that provides emotional and practical support for unpaid carers in the the Bradford District, Harrogate and Skipton

The charity is marking Carers Week, a national initiative to raise awareness of unpaid carers and the support services available. 

It's estimated three in five people will be unpaid carers at some point in their lives, and the charity currently supports around 16,000 people.  

"Carers' Time Off" is one scheme the charity provides in Craven and Harrogate. The volunteer befriending service gives carers a few hours of respite. 

At the moment, 63 carers use the service, which is staffed by 48 volunteers. 

However with many carers on its waiting list, the charity says it needs more people to help, especially in the Dales. 

Val Stewart, Volunteer Lead for Carers' Time Off said: 

"You can find that you're 24 hours a day, 365 days a year looking after somebody. Sometimes in very distressing circumstances. 

"It's tiring, it's isolating, it's frightening.

"To give a carer some time off is something we feel is very important.

"Unfortunately I could double or treble the number of volunteers I have and I wouldn't touch the sides of the waiting list. 

"And it's all over the Dales. 

"Kettlewell, Ingleton, Bentham, Settle, Skipton, all of those places I need volunteers." 

Patricia Wood and Peter Hargreaves both currently volunteer for the service. 

Carers Resource - Val and volunteers
Peter Hargreaves, Val Stewart and Patricia Wood

Patricia, who's been volunteering for the last five years said: 

"You can see your carers relax as you go in and they know they can go out for a couple of hours and do whatever they want to do. 

"And also offload some of the stress onto you too, because it is very, very stressful." 

Peter, who's been a volunteer with Carers' Resource for over three years added: 

"You do build up a rapport with both the carer and the cared for. 

"It does open your eyes."

The charity says volunteers will be matched to the client so that there are interests in common where possible. 

For more information about volunteering, or to find out more information about Carer's Resource, visit www.carersresource.org or call 01756 700888 

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