We are passionate about providing quiet space for people and one of the ways we are able to do that is through our Refresh Days for unpaid carers.
Caring responsibilities often fall on the shoulders of the partners and family of those who need support, sometimes causing significant emotional and physical stress. Many of these carers are unpaid, and their responsibilities can cause them to feel isolated from friends and other support networks.
Our most recent Refresh Day took place on Friday 15th February. We were delighted to be able to offer a day away from their caring responsibilities for a group of 11 unpaid carers, giving them space to rest and to connect with other carers in similar roles.
The day included a morning training session with the brilliant team at Promas CIC (check out their free courses for unpaid carers on their website at http://www.promas.co.uk). The session focussed on helping carers to look after themselves in their caring role – a vital and sometimes overlooked part of being a carer. After a two-course lunch, there were afternoon craft activities led by Debbie from Inspiring Women Network, time for painting and other artwork, or space to enjoy the garden or to walk the labyrinth. The hand massages provided by Emma Skilton using Neal’s Yard products were a special and much-anticipated treat – the room smelt gorgeous afterwards! We had a team of volunteers on hand through the day to help people to feel at home and to offer a listening ear if needed. We wanted to do everything that we could to help the carers feel valued, and were so pleased to be able to offer each person a small gift bag to take away with them. Some of the carers were able to take a longer break and stay with us overnight in our retreat accommodation, with a light supper and breakfast the next morning to send them on their way refreshed and ready to take up their caring roles again.
“Thank you so much. I feel rested but also have recovered a part of myself which gets lost during my caring roles. I laughed, relaxed and ate and felt cared for. Thank you so much!”
All of this was free of charge to the carers, thanks to grant funding from Cornwall Rural Community Charity (CRCC) and additional funds from The Epiphany Trust (Truro) Ltd, the charitable trust which runs Epiphany House. Our grateful thanks also go to Promas CIC and to our volunteers for offering their time to support this event.
This is the second Refresh day that we have held. They have proved to be very popular and we plan to hold another Refresh day later in the year. If you would like us to let you know when our plans are in place for the next one, please join our Refresh Day mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/gmX1m9.
“Days like today make you realise that you have other skills and gives you a day to really think of yourself. The day allowed me to totally forget about my worries, stresses and things I have to do, which is very rare. The opportunity to talk to other carers is very valuable to make you feel you are not alone. The location was perfect, very calming, fantastically welcoming staff and a beautiful lunch.”