Ceri’s Story

Can you tell us a little about you?Ceri's Story
Married to David for nearly 21 years, I am a mother of 4. Three boys and a girl. Two of my sons are autistic. My main passions in life are art and design. I trained as a window dresser. I really enjoy creating anything from making haunted houses on Halloween to going Christmas bonkers and decorating my house! I have suffered with bipolar since a young age and have battled with long period of being depressed. After my last serious bout, I became agoraphobic. I would only got to relatives houses if I was with husband; it was a massive strain on everyone in the family. With depression, you distance yourself from friends, family and just live ‘day to day’.

Why did you decide to get involved?
I was scrolling down Facebook and I saw a post asking for volunteers at the Credu shop in Machynlleth. At first I wasn’t sure if I could get myself out there and “talk to strangers”; even being in a new environment seem so daunting to me. After worrying for a few hours, I took the plunge and sent a message to offer myself as a volunteer. I hoped that my training as a window dresser might help and give me an outlet to use my skills.

Did you feel that you were making a difference as a volunteer?
As soon as I began volunteering I felt I was making a difference. I knew everything from the sorting to the till work was all helping Credu create funds to support the many Carers we have even in the Bro Ddyfi area. As my confidence grew I noticed that every interaction with customers who were Carers made a difference. I could relate to people with caring responsibilities as I care for my two sons with autism.

What is your proudest moment?
I’ve had so many proud moments while I have been at Credu. Some as simple as designing a window for the summer carnival with all the amazing compliments from the public. Another was being the first port of call a lady made after her relative died knowing we were there to lend a shoulder to cry on. And of course, becoming the shop manager when 18 months ago I was unable to leave my home. I am now coming to work and feeling a valued member of staff here at Credu.

As well as making a difference for others has volunteering made a difference to you?
It has given me an inner strength I never knew I had. It isn’t plain sailing for me medically; I will always have to take care of myself, but if you had said two years ago that I would be running a shop, I would of never believed it. Credu has set me free and made me see what is achievable

What advice would you give to anyone else thinking about volunteering?
Do it by volunteering. No matter how little time you have, that time is valuable to the people who desperately rely on the generosity of volunteers to support their charities. Hopefully you will find your inner strength like I did and have the wonderful feeling of knowing you’re helping others.

Carers Matter – Report

‘There’s a will…and where there’s a will there’s a way’ – POWYS CARERS MATTER EVENT 24th November 2017

With powerful speeches from Carers, hot off the press information from key officers and Carers discussing their experiences and ideas – It’s tricky to do justice to the passion and insights of the many participants.

Our Chair, Denise, reflected on the event and the passion of the Carers saying ‘there’s certainly a will….and where there is a will there is a way’. We think she captured the spirit of the moment and it feels like we have an amazing opportunity to work with both Carers and service providers together to make a difference to the key issues Carers are raising.

Respite was such a key issue, we are inviting you to discuss your ideas and insights with key decision makers in Powys on the 23rd February back at the Metropole – more info Click HERE  We think this is a significant opportunity – so if you need any support to pop along such as respite / travel / expenses, please do not hesitate to drop us a line.

Are these recommendations reflecting your voices? Do the next steps in the report summary reflect where you what to take these issues? Are there other ways you would like to be involved? Drop us and e-mail / or phone call – we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Recommendations for Powys County Council and Powys Teaching Health Board 

Carers Matter - Report

a) Retain and build on opportunities for Carer involvement within the Regional Partnership Board and subgroups and engage with Carers in a variety of ways. Link with emerging Powys Carers Action Group over key policy decisions.

b) Continue to resolve workforce shortages so that Carers Assessments can be completed.

c) Discuss and design the future of respite, domiciliary care and other key services with Carers and the people that they Care for, with a focus on local solutions that add social and economic value. Credu can facilitate this.

d) Invest in training local people who are committed to Powys by way of building a skilled workforce.
e) Build in ‘Carer friendly’ employment policies into all public sector contracts.
f) Build on Carer Awareness amongst all staff at all levels so that Carers can access support before crisis.
g) Review awareness and understanding of Parent Carers with education, health and social services.
h) Review where national policies impact on Carers wellbeing negatively (e.g. welfare reform / reduced investment in public services and consider co-producing responses with Carers).
i) Find ways of supporting sustainable local transport solutions.

Recommendations for Credu Connecting Carers

Carers Matter - Report

a) Create opportunities for Carers to be involved in influencing services at
• National level through linking Carers with Carers Wales, Carers Trust and organisations like Citizens Cymru.
• Powys level through a Powys wide Carers Action Group which can link with Regional Partnership Board as well as having a steer over Carer involvement opportunities throughout Powys.
• Thematic action planning workshops that bring Carers and heads of services together to co-design solutions to challenges.
• Community level through local Carer’s groups or groups of Carers that want to come together to tackle common issues.

b) Bring service leaders together with Carers to clarify plans around respite and domiciliary care. and develop solutions to challenges.
c) Co-design a re-energised awareness raising campaign across Powys, build network of Carer Ambassadors at GPs and other organisations.
d) Explore more effective ways to assist with some of the challenges with coordinating services that some parent Carers are identifying
e) Link with Employers for Carers and promote locally. Continue to work with individual Carers who want to train / access employment, to help coach / sign post to opportunities
f) Collect evidence of financial hardships faced by Carers and link with National Campaigns.

Download the Report Summary HERE

Please call 01597 823800 or email carers@credu.cymru if you would like the Full Report emailed to you or printed and sent to you.

 

Planning for the Future – Carers Week in Powys

 

Planning for the end of life can be difficult, but not talking about dying and death can have unwanted consequences. The workshop at Marlow involved discussion around future health needs, resuscitation, living wills, and funeral wishes with an excellent discussion with Gareth, solicitor from Dilwyns, around wills, deputeeship, power of attorneys and more.Planning for the Future - Carers Week in Powys

As part of Carers Week Credu arranged two events for Carers and their guests.

Comments received included:
“Very informative, presented in a very comfortable pleasant, manner, thanks”
“Excellent and very helpful presentation, thank you (sensitively handled). We don’t talk enough about this”
“Very helpful indeed, a good mix of practical, emotional and humorous advice”Planning for the Future - Carers Week in Powys

 

Why I Love Volunteering

Its Volunteers Week this week and we asked some of our Volunteers ‘why do you volunteer with Credu’

Lilian – who leads the Counselling Service and is a Counsellor herself says

Why I Love Volunteering

‘Credu offers a fantastic service to support unpaid carers and its all FREE!

Being a volunteer counsellor gives me unique opportunities to provide emotional help to people who ask very little for themselves, facilitating change and giving hope for the future.

Don’t struggle alone, we are here for you.’

Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about Counselling for Carers provided by Credu or if you’d like to share your skills and knowledge with us – we can discuss how you can help us connect Carers.’

A brief note about language in our blog posts

Just to let you know, everyone at Credu publishes blog posts to share what we are up to – and each author writes their posts in the language they usually use. So that is why some blog posts will be English and some in Welsh, regardless of the website language selection you have chosen. This enables us to keep our news freshly published and regularly updated. Thank you for your understanding!

Well Done Lilian

Our volunteer Lilian was recently recognised by the ‘Llandrindod Well Done’ awards for her work with Carers.

Well Done Lilian

Lilian has developed the counselling service, first joining as part of her counselling qualification. She continued to provide counselling to Carers after she qualified and as well as providing counselling to carers she leads the team of counsellors across the County.

An article about the fantastic support of the Counselling is in our newsletter!Well Done Lilian

We are so proud of Lilian and thankful for the commitment she gives and the difference she makes.

WELL DONE LILIAN!

Pamper Day for Carers Week 2015

The recent Pamper Day that was held in celebration of Carers Week was a resounding success. Here are the comments of those who attended. We hope will be secure more funding in the future to put on other such events.

“It is a lovely idea giving Carers their own time. I really did have a good time. Thank you very much and to all Powys Carers Service.”

“Been looking forward for this day and it has proved to be excellent. Relaxing, friendly, altogether a great time away from my 24/7 caring.”

“Wonderful day. Thank you so much! I really hope you will decide to do this again – I feel so spoilt. It’s the first chance I have had to unwind for AGES.”

“Not just enjoyable, but very useful and I do hope you have more.”

“Thanks for a good day and for the massages and spa treatments.”

“Very good! Well done RNC.”

“Had a really lovely day meeting different carers and talking about ourselves and dependents. Well done and thank you for putting it on for us.”

“Good to meet up with others who have similar problems and to share concerns and experiences! Also useful advice given for my own needs. Thanks for a brilliant pamper day – felt valued!”

“Lovely day, great treatments, nice facilities. Thank you very much.”

“Beyond my wildest expectations!”

“I have only recently discovered Powys Carers. They have been so understanding and kind. The Pamper Day is a lovely idea. The person I care for said “That will do you a lot of good”. I have never had a manicure or a foot massage in my life before and I hadn’t been swimming since my husband’s diagnosis.”

“Great to be in the company of people who care.”

“What a lovely day. Thank you very much.”

“Best day ever.”

“Amazing day, lovely people. Thank you to everybody concerned.”

“Wonderful day. Met lots of new friends which I hope to meet again.”

“What a fantastic day! What a superb choice of location for this year. Please may we return to Hotel Metropole next year?”

“It’s wonderful meeting up with other people with the same sort of problems. Thank you for putting it on.”