New digital offer for Harlow’s unpaid carers

Health / Sat 31st Dec 2022 at 11:05am

UNPAID carers in Essex play a vital role in supporting families and friends to live independently within their own homes and communities.

Many of these carers simply see it as their role to support relatives, friends and neighbours who need help to live independently and won’t identify as a “carer” and not realise there is information, advice, guidance and support if and when they may need it.  

Carers tell us it’s rewarding but that the role is challenging with many of them sacrificing their own time to help enrich the lives of others and for many this can also be isolating.

Essex County Council (ECC) has this month launched a new digital offer, Mobilise, for carers that aims to reach 30,000 unpaid carers across the county to connect them with others in a similar position and offer support they might need.

Mobilise, is an online offer which is led by carers for carers.  Mobilise uses social media and digital marketing to connect carers across the county so that they can share challenges and solutions with other carers in a respectful and uplifting way.

The service, which carers can sign up to for free, runs alongside services already provided by local carer support organisations and will see free personalised guidance and coaching, website guides, regular contact through emails, a guide to caring e-course, ‘virtual cuppas’ and even individual support calls seven days a week, including Christmas day.

Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health at Essex County Council, Councillor John Spence said: “We want to identify more carers and provide additional support, so carers can continue to provide their crucial care and enjoy positive lives.

“We want to create a ‘Carers Community’ in Essex and Mobilise is a great way for us to achieve this by helping carers to connect, reducing isolation and helping get the right support to the people that need it.”

Lee, 55, a family carer who supports his sister who is a stroke survivor and her son who has psychosis, said: “Mobilise is unique, real people with real experience are there to help make a real difference in how I support my loved ones who have health challenges. Everyone who cares for a loved one would do well to connect with Mobilise.”

Suzanne Bourne, Co-founder and Head of Carer Support at Mobilise said: “There are carers out there who may need advice who are not currently accessing it. Creating a Mobilise carer peer support network in Essex will see an improvement in their wellbeing. Carers are less likely to reach breakdown and require emergency assistance.”

The Mobilise service is free for residents of Essex and can be accessed via: https://support.mobiliseonline.co.uk/essex.

Other support for Carers can be found here: https://www.essex.gov.uk/topic/support-for-carers.

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