A Milton Keynes mum says her life was in meltdown before seeking help from charity CarersMK, but now she’s helping others.
Melanie Carroll had given up a successful career to care for her disabled son Benjamin, who is now four, but she felt isolated and alone and didn’t believe she understood enough about his special needs
Now, thanks to the expert advice, information and support she has received, Melanie says she is “back to the person she was” - and is even helping other carers.
Melanie is just one of more than 20,000 unpaid young and adult carers in Milton Keynes. CarersMK supports some 3,000 and is urging those thousands of other ‘hidden carers’ to come forward for support.
It’s a message the charity is trying to get across as it is Carers Week this week, which is a UK-wide annual awareness campaign that aims to improve the lives of carers and the people they care for.
CarersMK chief executive Stephen Archibald says: “We are delighted to be taking part in Carers Week. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to recognise the incredible work young and adult carers do, and to reach out to new carers and let them know we are here to support them.
“Unpaid care saves the Milton Keynes economy some £320m a year but the welfare of the carers is often overlooked, not least by the carers themselves.
“If you are a ‘hidden carer’ we are here to help make life easier for you. “Our target is to double the number of young and adult carers we support by 2017; the Carers Week awareness campaign is just one way of helping us do that.
“We provide expert advice, information and support and understand a wide range of conditions and illnesses. We also campaign for change to improve the lives of carers and those they care for.”
As part of Carers Week, CarersMK will host a special seminar on Parkinson’s Disease, what it is and how it develops, the support available, current research and a Question and Answer session.
To book a place at this event on Wednesday, 11 June at Acorn House, Central Milton Keynes between 10am and 12noon visit the website at www.carersmiltonkeynes.org or call 01908 231703.
Other events planned during the week include a session on relaxation techniques, a parent carer coffee morning, an event around Special Educational Needs (SEN) reform and an interactive group writing session.
For more information about Carers Week and the various events taking place contact CarersMK on 01908 231703 or visit the website.