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West Cumbrian Carers in good voice for awareness week

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West Cumbrian Carers in good voice for awareness week

Posted on Monday 10th June 2013

West Cumbria Carer Choir


West Cumbrian Carers in good voice for awareness week

West Cumbrian Carers will be launching their CD and premiering their own song about their caring experience at the Carers' in Harmony concert at Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven to coincide with the national Carers Awareness Week this coming weekend (June 15).

The carers' singing group began at a Singing Workshop, one of the Health Activities organised by the charity West Cumbria’s Carers' and funded by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) through the Carers' Health Grants.

The choir has gone from strength to strength, taking the name The Meercat Choir and composing their own piece, You Lift Me Up! with Sarah Wallcock of Sound Waves charity.

Clare Edwards, Carers Support Worker for West Cumbria Carers explained: “The song is bitter-sweet and describes our choir members thoughts and feelings about caring for a loved one. We know there won’t be a dry eye in the house when it is sung in public for the very first time.

“The aim of the Carers Health Grants is to support the health of carers and by so doing help sustain caring and avoid crisis.

“Many carers neglect their own health, putting off medical appointments because of a lack of care, support and time for themselves.

“The six week singing workshop programme followed on from a singing workshop in 2012, using singing to support physical and mental well being. Other activities have included healthy eating cookery courses held at Lakes College West Cumbria and Young Carers Sports Bitesize sessions.

“The Meercat Choir will be joined by members of our Young Carers singing group for the premier of their song, You Lift Me Up! Which will take place at Carers In Harmony event on June 15 and the CD will also go on sale at Carers Support Groups and West Cumbria Carers office in Cockermouth and all proceeds will go to the carers charity.”

West Cumbrian Carers Health project in Allerdale and Copeland has been initiated and funded by NHS Cumbria CCG, and in its first year has improved the health of 84 per cent of carers - providing unpaid care for an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend.

A survey of carers' in West Cumbria who had taken part in activities funded by the Carers' Health Grants shows 82 per cent said the activity supported by their grant had supported their ability to care and 56 per cent said the grant prevented the deterioration of their mental health.

A 2011 census shows 11-12% of the population, around 17,000 people are carers in West Cumbria. Many provide more than 50 hours of support each week.

Clare added: “Thanks to ongoing funding we are able to continue to provide a range of Healthy Activities for carers, including new Chatting and Crafting Together groups which have started in Silloth and Cockermouth.

“Carers' are welcome to drop in for a quick coffee and a chat, stay for a couple of hours and have a good long gossip or bring along some knitting, crochet or other craft or hobby and share the joy with others.”

Both groups will meet on Thursdays, June 20, July 25, August 22 and September 19. The Silloth Chatters group meet 2-5pm at Trinity Methodist Church, Wampool Street and Cockermouth group 1.30-3.30pm at the URC Church, Main Street.

The Carers in Harmony concert will take place June 15 tickets and further information from Rosehill Theatre Tel: 01946 692422.

For more information about West Cumbria Carers' activities, self referral or volunteering call 01900 821976 or email general@westcumbriacarers.co.uk .

Posted on Monday 10th June 2013


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