Carers Week 2021 – Looking back at some highlights Carers Week 2021 – Looking back at some highlights. The theme for Carers Week in 2021 was “Making Caring Visible and Valued”. Northamptonshire has an estimated 70,000 carers and in a year which has presented extraordinary challenges to carers, it is important to raise awareness of the contribution carers continue to make in our communities and to show that carers are indeed visible and valued. During Carers week, Northamptonshire Carers has hosted a variety of events and activities and although mainly virtual, there have been some opportunities to meet in person outdoors on what has been a week of very good weather. The weeks activities have been well received by adult carers and young carers alike and it is hoped that events were both enjoyable and informative. The week began with the choir and Sarah Drage said “the involvement in the choir is always wonderful, particularly as the sun was shining and the choir was joyous”. Fishing went ahead two days during the week and those who attended had access to fishing coaches which was a marvellous opportunity and yielded some very successful catches! Thanks for the fishing, I had a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to doing it again! Ben Safeguarding Futures ran a session around Care Funding and Power of Attorney which was very informative and useful. The Parent Carer Team ran two sessions this week as a drop in and this is always a great opportunity for parent carers to meet others in a similar situation and access information, advice and support. Tuesday saw IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) running two sessions on Anxiety and COVID anxiety and a session on Sleep & Routines which initiated a lot of conversation and was enlightening. Wednesday saw the Dementia Friendly Get Together meeting in Fermyn Woods…… …. as well as a Gardening Q&A session with Ursula in the afternoon, an opportunity to ask all those tricky questions about gardening and was a very interactive, enjoyable session. On Thursday there was a session on Summer Floral displays with Julie. Friday had a morning group in Irchester country park do an ancient Japanese art form called Hapa Zome! Friday morning also had a zoom session on Needle Felting which was well received and was a lot of fun for the group. We have enjoyed making Carers more visible to employers and valued by the wider community. In addition, over the last week, there have been opportunities to try out different groups, whether this be a support group, music, singing or crafting. One group was Daventry Carers Cafe Drop in met at Daventry Country Park Carers Week in 2021 has been about recognising and valuing the contribution of unpaid carers throughout Northamptonshire. After a very difficult year for Carers in all our communities, Northamptonshire Carers has been pleased to have been able to raise awareness and support hidden carers. We hope that Carers have been able to enjoy an activity from our events programme and have been able to have some time to take a break. Mark Major, CEO of Northamptonshire Carers Northamptonshire Young Carers Service Carers Week 2021 The Northamptonshire Young Carers Service have had a great Carers Week 2021! Our focus has been celebrating the successes, voices, and talents of Young Carers in Northamptonshire. We have been active on social media sharing words of wisdom from some of our Young Carer Champions. We value their involvement in shaping our service and providing support. We have also shared the achievements of our different groups and the positive impact they have had on the service and out in the world. We have shared tips for schools to support Young Carers, info on our new app, and advertised for the participation and engagements groups we are part of. The biggest impact has come from the videos of the Young Adult Carers – they just say it so well. These videos gained the most views, likes, and shares of all our posts. We had a talent show where Young Carers were able to share what they can do. We had an artist share some work, learnt a song in sign language, and heard a dog sing! We also had two amazing singers, one of them even danced at the same time! She shared this was the first time she had performed for anyone so was a huge achievement that we were able to celebrate. Our Dance Party was well attended, and everyone brought the moves! We all had great (sweaty!) fun learning some dances so thank you to Born To Perform! Thank you to all the carers who attended. We hope you enjoyed the weeks activities. We would also like to thank our partners who helped us make carers week successful including Northamptonshire Healthcare, the Unitary Councils, Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals, Northamptonshire Sport, Safeguarding Futures, Ursula Buchan, Julie Williams, Born to Perform, Tollers Solicitors and to all the employers involved in Carers Week and thank you also for your ongoing support. We at Northamptonshire Carers sincerely hope that this has provided an opportunity for a greater awareness of what carers do, and we hope to see you again!