Coronavirus: Changes to our Services Unfortunately due to Coronavirus and social distancing, we have had to change the way we deliver our services 1. We have had to restrict indoor group work in line with advice 2. We will also be restricting home visits except for our regulated care team. 3. We are switching to primarily telephone/social media support. This includes a new Befriending Service 4. Our Northamptonshire Carers Support Line remains open on 01933 677907; Monday to Friday 9am-12noon; 1pm-4pm. 5. Due to lockdown, gyms and our caravan are closed We are rapidly exploring options as how best to help those we support during this difficult time and would welcome your ideas - but know that one size doesn't fit all. New or adapted services include: 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. Breathing Space Our COPD groups are continuing to provide support, albeit virtually. Click here for further information. Hospital Support Our Carer support service for both Northampton and Kettering General Hospital remains operational despite the teams working from home. 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. We are still accepting referrals, liaising with professionals & carrying out assessments - please see our online referral form. The team are currently working from home and we will be able to follow up in schools and at home visits as required after lock down restrictions are lifted. We are working alongside other Young Carers services nationally to support a Task Force Group (Children’s Society, Carers Trust on behalf of Department of Health/ Education, Public Health and NHS England) to produce findings and recommendations moving forward linked to the common occurring themes & issues reported by Young Carers/Young Adult Carers and their families since COVID-19. Report due to be published in due course. Our ‘MY Mental Health Campaign’ is still ongoing – Online content to be released in and our Steering Group have met virtually online to inform our approach from here on engaging with professionals and beyond. Mental Health and Wellbeing of our Carers more than ever is likely to be impacted upon so we are keen to continue to make a success of future developments in this arena across the county. Our newly launched weekly Bulletins is published up on the here every week as well as being shared via e-mail and social media. We will shortly be launching our first ‘open’ Young Carers event next week this will include a ‘Young Carers Quiz’ and could grow to include social opportunities, fun, drop-ins wellbeing sessions and focus group discussions. We also be going live shortly with online music opportunities including weekly Singing Lessons and Ukulele. MyMusic Northamptonshire Our Spirit of 2012 'Carers Music Fund' is funded via the tampon tax and open to female carers of all ages. We will be launching online music content during lockdown Each week, our team of musicians will release a variety of online music content for Carers to engage with. This could be videos exploring different styles of music, live stream sessions with songs to learn at home, online ukulele tutorials, interactive song writing sessions or more relaxed sing alongs. The project will use a mixture of online platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, as well as video call software such as Zoom. Carers can get involved with as much or as little of the above as they would like, but we’re hoping to share something that will appeal to everyone! Content will be shared from Monday 20th April on wards, with welcome videos from the musicians out this week. How Carers can get involved… If they’re on Facebook, the best way to get stuck in is to like our Facebook page and request to join the MyMusic Northamptonshire Online Facebook group. Page: https://www.facebook.com/MyMusicNorthamptonshire/Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/917072552076973/?source_id=104507124325828 This group is a private group just for female Carers who want to be involved in the online project, and all the links to YouTube videos, online sessions and any song lyrics will be posted here. It’s also a space for Carers to chat, comment and connect with other Carers in the project! If you’re not on Facebook, please contact us to be added to the MyMusic Online mailing list, and all the content will be sent out via email too. Later in 2020, we’re really hoping that the groups can get back up and running as planned, but in the meantime we hope this makes a difference to Carers! Feel free to contact us should you have any queries or suggestions.