There are more than six million carers across the UK – and one in four Birmingham homes is home to a carer. But many people don’t classify themselves as a carer and so miss out on vital help and support.
Hidden Carers is our West Midlands volunteering project that recognises that carers don’t always realise that they are a caregiver. They may be caring for a friend, relative or neighbour and need to improve their confidence and skills in English to access support.
The project started in January 2017 following our hugely successful Carers Together project (link?), delivered by TimeBank and Carers UK, that matched volunteer mentors with carers to help reduce their social isolation, improve their emotional well-being and cope with the stresses and strains of caring.
Hidden Carers recruits and trains volunteers to deliver one day interactive workshops to help carers understand their role and rights, to feel part of a social support network and to be aware of services to improve and maintain their wellbeing.
Over the last year, TimeBank organised three volunteer-led workshops for 14 carers and since the project began, 19 workshops have supported 216 carers.
We have now passed the delivery of training and materials to our funders, Forward Carers, a West Midlands based carer support service, to take the project forward.