In Focus: carers training and activities Care for the Carers provides training courses and activities, such as pamper days, the Carers Toolkit and a trip on the Bluebell Railway, for carers across East Sussex throughout the year. Carers Toolkit The Carers Toolkit is a great training programme designed by carers, for carers and equips people with a range of skills related to caring issues. The aim of the toolkit is to improve the health and wellbeing of unpaid carers and ensure that they have a better knowledge of the support services available to them. In 2017, toolkit has included the following courses: “Shine” (managing stress), Creative Writing, Art Therapy, Wellness Recovery Action Planning, and Carers Rights and Emergency Planning. One carer who went on the Creative Writing course said “It is wonderful to self-express through written word, it goes beyond the reading, and it reaches out and embraces all of us. Within this course I have also enjoyed listening, understanding, caring. Can we do some more please. Love, love, love” Pamper days Another popular activity is the carers pamper days, which the charity is able to offer thanks to 3H Fund and Burrswood Health and Wellbeing Centre in Groombridge, Kent. Taking place at Burrswood, unpaid carers can enjoy treatments, a buggy ride through the grounds, crafts and a home-cooked lunch. Emma Godson, who is a carer for her daughter, describes her experience to CareLine: “It was a beautiful setting and there were lots of activities on offer for us and in the afternoon I had my finger nails painted. We also had a lovely tour of the gardens. We were given lunch and that was lovely – it was just so nice to be cooked for. “The whole day was a really pleasant experience. It was calm, relaxing and although I had to deal with various dramas throughout the day related to my caring role, everyone was really accommodating. I couldn’t thank them enough.” A trip on the Bluebell Railway Thanks to donations from East Sussex Women of the Year, since 2016, Care for Carers has organised an annual trip on the Bluebell Railway at Sheffield Park for unpaid carers in the county who are looking after family members or friends who are living with dementia, along with the person they care for. The day includes a ploughman’s lunch on board the steam train, as it makes its way through the scenic Sussex countryside from the Sheffield Park to East Grinstead. Derek Kayes-Knight, who cares for his wife Susan, said: “It was something we had always wanted to do, and it was just a brilliant day out. It was more than we expected. “The food was exceptionally good and we really enjoyed sitting at the pub at the station just watching what was going on. The smells and sounds of the steam train brought back many memories for both of us and we’d loved to go back again.” Care for the Carers has a fantastic programme of activities coming up, including afternoon teas, theatre trips and much more. To find out what’s on and for more information about Care for the Carers activities, contact our Gateway service by calling 01323 738390, or by emailing [email protected]. You can also visit our website by going to www.cftc.org.uk/Pages/Events.