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A brilliant Community Programme update from our team in Bridgend...

Did you know there are 370,000 carers in Wales, and that six in every ten of us will become a carer at some point in our lives? Carers week runs from 7th to 12th and it’s all about making sure the country’s unpaid carers are visible, valued and supported. So we’re delighted to announce a special update about our own Carers Respite programme in Bridgend County…

Time to chat, space to think, room to exercise and advice about care services has been delivered to carers in Bridgend County courtesy of Halo Leisure’s successful Respite programme. The Spring pilot proved so successful it’s now being expanded into a more regular service in September thanks to £40,000 funding from Bridgend County Borough Council.

“We know unpaid carers report poor diets, poor health outcomes and chronic loneliness and we responded to that with weekly exercise and wellbeing programmes, funded with a £14,000 Innovation in Carers Wellbeing Grant,” explains Halo's Jess Jaques who, together with the ActiveCommunities team, ran the pilot. “It was as much about helping carers recognise what they needed while giving them chance to experience the difference this time out to care for themselves could make to their life and confidence and own wellbeing.”

The sessions which Jess and the Active Communities team ran from February to April 2022 offered unpaid carers free opportunities to exercise, chance to enjoy holistic therapy workshops (including stress relief and mindfulness sessions) and brought them together to talk about healthier diets and lifestyles. Meanwhile the South East Wales Carers Trust brought information and advice to the table and the initial funding covered replacement care while the carers took this essential time out.

“We saw the difference this can make,” says Jess. “And it’s that success which has helped us secure more funding – some £40,000 – to expand it later this year.”

Carers wanting to take part in the programme should contact Jess Jaques at jess.jaques@haloleisure.org.uk

They can see some of the benefits of the programme in this digi-story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25Yxr0GoJdA