Coronavirus: Changes to our Services Unfortunately due to Coronavirus and social distancing, we have had to change the way we deliver our services although we are easing restrictions safely. We have though developed many new services and have picked up many useful lessons that will continue into the future. Carer Befriending Service This is a new telephone service where our volunteers give Carers a regular call to chat and make sure they are doing okay. Home Visits & Group Activities We have an in depth COVID risk assessment and guidance covering all services. This aims to balance delivering our much-needed services with ensuring the safety of carers, clients, staff, volunteers and their families. Regulated care will continue to wear PPE as this involves very close contact work. Other services including our office, groups and home visits will operate within COVID-safe guidelines which mean that masks are not needed if the activity can take place within a well-ventilated setting with more than 2m social distance. Staff will carry a mask and hand sanitizer and respect your wishes should you want them to wear a mask when visiting. Equally staff and volunteers may choose to wear a mask in any setting and we ask that you respect this decision. We may contact you ahead of a visit etc to discuss individual circumstances. Pease do not attend a group or have a home visit if advised to self-isolate or are showing COVID symptoms ahead of a confirmatory test. Hospital Support Our Carer support service for both Northampton and Kettering General Hospital remains operational. The team of Carer Support Workers (CSW’s) have developed close links with the hospital staff and are therefore ideally placed to support informal carers, whist the cared for person is in hospital and throughout the discharge process. The type of support offered can range from a listening ear, informal advocacy, providing information, reassurance and advice. Following the patients discharge, the CSW’s can offer opportunities for an assessment of the Carers needs and access to on-going Carer support within the community.The hospital Carer support service can be accessed by Carers and professionals. Tel: 01933 677907 Lines are open Monday - Friday, 9-12; 1-4. Virtual Support Groups Carers who would normally be attending groups and social activities are also regularly in touch with other Carers – through WhatsApp, Zoom and telephone befriending We are organising a virtual quiz night, exercise classes, craft classes and sessions on mindfulness – all coming soon. All of our groups are open to new members – if anyone is interested in joining then please contact us and a group worker will give you a call back. Carers Sitting Service & Volunteer Opportunities Whilst our ability to provide regular visits through the Carers Sitting Service is suspended we are regularly keeping in touch by phone with carers who use the service and our team of volunteer befrienders. We will continue to do this until we can resume providing our service. If you are a carer who normally uses our service or you are one of our volunteers and you would like to get in touch with us you are very welcome to do so. Please phone 01933 677837 and ask to speak to Emma Foster or Adam Wilson or you can email us at [email protected] If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with the carers sitting service, either supporting adult or parent carers, then we remain happy to hear from you. Although due to the current restrictions regarding covid-19 there will be a greater period of delay than usual before you could get started with your volunteering we can still send you email application forms, do a telephone interview and process a DBS check as long as you are able to show us your identification documents electronically. Please click here to apply to become a volunteer. Finally, if you are a volunteer who applied before we moved into lockdown, we are still interested in you becoming a volunteer with us. However, you becoming an active volunteer will also be subject to a delay until we can safely resume our service. We are also working with partner organisations, including the NHS & County Council as to how best to respond to Coronavirus as a system and to highlight the needs of carers and those with care needs. We are working with national charities such as Carers Trust and Carers UK to highlight the needs of carers and young carers during and beyond the coronavirus outbreak. Young Carers We are maintaining contact with our Young Carers and their families utilising Social Media, WhatsApp and regular telephone contact alongside face to face support, including in schools. We are still accepting referrals, liaising with professionals & carrying out assessments - please see our online referral form. Feel free to contact us should you have any queries or suggestions.