Carer Peer Support Opportunities and Activities:
We recognise that being an unpaid carer can be an isolating experience and that often, you may feel alone, unsupported or not understood. Here at the Universal Services for Carers for Derby, we believe strongly that peer support is essential to ensuring that unpaid carers have good mental and physical well-being and that the sharing of experiences, knowledge and skills is vital to this and can be very powerful.
One of our primary goals is therefore to help unpaid carers set up a variety of peer support groups, activities and events that can provide Derby’s unpaid carers with the much-needed opportunity to meet others living in similar situations to them within their local community and to build supportive and empowering relationships.
We therefore aim to support carers in developing and creating new peer support groups in their communities, which are accessible and flexible to meet their individual needs. Talking and working closely with unpaid carers, listening to their ideas and views regarding what they would like to be available in their communities is an essential part of this process. We would therefore like to hear from you if there is a specific support group or event or activity you would like to see in Derby city.
We can also support in creating community action groups looking at bringing about change for carers and carer forums, as well as the development of social media platforms and innovative ways of bringing your carer community together.
*NEW – Journeys.. a peer support group for coping with loss and bereavement*
If you are a carer coping with loss or bereavement you may wish to join our monthly peer support group. The group meets on the last Wednesday of each month, 11am, over ZOOM. The group is a safe and non-judgemental space where carers can come together with our trained staff to discuss their experience of loss, benefit from peer support and learn coping strategies. There will also be special guests in the session, such as counsellors and grief experts, who can provide specialist advice and support.
*Zoom Coffee Morning*
Every Friday we host a virtual coffee morning on ZOOM, 11am-12pm. The coffee morning is a great opportunity to meet other carers, share about your caring experiences, make friends and have fun. If you would like to join the coffee morning, give the help-line a call and book your slot.
*Peer Support Walking Group*
Every Tuesday we host a walking group at Darley Park, 10:30-11:30am. Joining our walking group is a great way to get some fresh air and light exercise, as well as being an opportunity to meet other carers, make friends and have fun.
*Owing to COVID-19 restrictions, the walking group is currently cancelled.
*NEW – support during COVID-19: peer support calls*
We want to ensure that carers still have access to peer support even though we are in the midst of a pandemic.
We have therefore launched peer support or friendship calls.
You can opt to be paired with another carer – based on your interests and caring circumstances – who you can then call and have informal, friendly and supportive discussions with.
If you are interested in taking part in peer support calls, you can contact our help-line or email us and ask to join the scheme. Our Community Engagement Worker will then pair you with another carer and then help facilitate you getting in touch.
To take advantage of this service, you will need an active telephone number that you consent for our Community Engagement Worker to share with the person they believe to be best suited for you to buddy up with.
We will only share your number with the one person selected to be your buddy and we will facilitate the two of you in setting up your first call. You are then free to continue calling each other and hopefully a supportive friendship will develop.
If you find you don’t quite gel with your buddy, then you can contact our Community Engagement Worker to end the peer support relationship for you and pair you up with someone new.
We therefore ask all carers to respect the decision of their buddy if they choose to end the peer support relationship – there is no need to take this personally, as there may be many reasons this does not work out, the most likely being a lack of time (as we all know being a carer is a full-time job).
It is important that we stress that this is positive, community focused activity and that no inappropriate or offensive behaviour will be tolerated and that it will be reported if necessary. The safety and well-being of our carers is of utmost concern to us and we want everyone to enjoy this peer support experience.
For our weekly peer support opportunities and activities, please see the timetable below: