Family Carers Ireland runs carer groups all over the country. These groups meet regularly, usually once a month. The carers that attend set the agenda. Carers often use the time to share coping strategies and local information in addition to offering emotional support. Guest speakers such as Public Health Nurses, HSE representatives and Social Welfare experts are invited to meetings to address carers on issues of interest to them. Groups provide a valuable opportunity to meet others with similar caring experiences. Indeed this is how many enduring friendships began.
Groups are also integral to the operation of Family Carers Ireland. We operate on the basis of group membership because we believe that local networks best promote inclusion and support at local, regional and national levels. Groups play a vital role in promoting recognition of the identity, contribution and needs of family carers, in articulating existing and emerging need and in representing family carers’ issues both to policymakers and to the general community. The organisation recognises three categories of group as eligible for membership in this capacity: local groups, regional forums and virtual groups.
Five or more members coming together with the same goals and meeting on a regular basis may form a group affiliated with Family Carers Ireland. Members of FCI groups will be united by a common bond, which could simply be a shared geographical area, or caring for family members with a condition in common, e.g. parents of children with Autism / ADHD.
There are three different fee options in relation to membership:
- An annual subscription fee of €10, (€8 for group members) enables you to become a full member of FCI and add your voice to that of other family carers.
- In addition, full members can, on payment of an annual €10 supplementary fee, avail of a discount card which entitles you to our negotiated exclusive deals.
- Some groups may opt to become Associate Members of Family Carers Ireland, for €250 per group per annum.
Your membership fee helps to fund a range of services to carers and their families.
Carer groups allow carers to:
- share their experiences, feelings, ideas, concerns, information and problems
- access information on their rights and entitlements
- act together to highlight carers issues with decision makers
- have a sense of connection with other family carers in similar circumstances
- have a break from the caring situation
- relax, socialise and learn from other carers
- cope from day to day
Contact your nearest resource centre to find a group in your area.