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Each bespoke group is based on the unique needs and interests identified locally by our Carer Support Managers and the family carers they liaise with which allows them the opportunity to engage with others in a way that is most suited to them.
Support groups provide the opportunity for carers to come together, share their experiences and knowledge and learn from one another in a safe, non-judgemental, peer-led setting. Through support groups, carers experience a sense of community, empowerment, improved mental and emotional well-being, reduced feelings of social isolation and increased confidence in their own strengths and abilities.
Activity groups are less structured and aim to bring carers together to participate in an activity of interest. Walking, meditation, choir, knitting and painting are only a few examples of the variety of activities being offered around the country. The informal nature of activity groups allows for members to join and leave easily, while providing support in a less direct manner which can be more appealing to some carers.
Special interest groups are formed when a group of carers identify a local issue they wish to come together to address, such as lobbying to increase the availability of secondary school placements for children with additional needs or to fundraise for a specific service needed in the area. These groups empower carers to self-advocate and support them to influence public policy for family carers locally and nationally. As we continue to develop the new group structure, our goal is to connect with even more carers across the country, regardless of their specific caring role.