Cash boost for care charity

A CHARITY which helps to support thousands of people across the county who care for elderly and ill relatives has been given a cash boost of almost £500,000 in lottery funding.

A CHARITY which helps to support thousands of people across the county who care for elderly and ill relatives has been given a cash boost of almost £500,000 in lottery funding.

Suffolk Family Carers, based in Claydon, has been granted £495,848 by the Big Lottery Fund and will use the money to set up outreach schemes at community centres across the county.

Jacqui Martin, chief executive of the charity, said: "We are absolutely delighted to receive this.

“It means that we will be able to extend the services we already offer family carers from our centre in Claydon right into the rural communities of Suffolk.

“We will use the money to set up Outreach Link Centres, based in community buildings in outlying areas, offering a rolling programme of training and information to support both adults and young people in their caring role.

“We aim to reach out to the many hidden family carers living in rural isolation and let them know that we are here to help and they are not alone.”

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There are more than 98,000 adult family carers and 4,000 young carers in Suffolk and the number looks set to increase as cuts to community hospitals and day care services take hold.

The number of new cases they dealt with in 2005/6 was up 63 per cent on the previous year and has already increased dramatically

in the first few months of this financial year.

The new project, Sense-ability, will set up eight outreach teams to help family carers in more rural parts of Suffolk.

Mrs Martin said: “They won't be actual buildings, but we will be placing outreach teams in areas where we think there is a real need for our work.

“They will be working out of places like libraries and community centres.”

The centres will address difficulties faced by carers and offer training sessions to increase employability, teach care responsibilities, supply caring information and arrange social activities.

The charity is still in the process of identifying where the teams will be placed.

Have you been helped by Suffolk Family Carers? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

WEBLINK: www.suffolk-carers.co.uk

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