The Princess Royal Trust Dumfries and Galloway Carers Centre is based in Dumfries and is a service which provides support to carers in the region. Their service looks after both adult carers and young carers, with plenty of information and advice available to view at your own convenience on their websites for young people and adult carers.
Who is a carer?
A carer is someone of any age including children and young people under the age of 18, who provide support to a member of their family or a friend who is affected by long term illness, disability, age or addiction, or who could not manage without their support. You may not see yourself as a carer – you may feel that you are simply looking after your partner, child, relative or friend. However, 1 in 6 people are carers and many of those people require help and support to carry out this role.
Carers can often experience a wide range of emotions: frustration, isolation, even guilt. Access to information and support can make a huge difference to a carer and the person they care for. It is also important for carers to look after themselves. The Carers Centre aims to promote health and wellbeing of carers – many often experience illness, stress or injury as a result of lack of care of themselves.
How can the Princess Royal Trust Carers Centre help?
They provide information, advice and support to anyone who cares for a relative or friend. The service also aims to raise awareness of the needs of carers and the contribution they make to care in the community. The service in the region provides support to help make things easier for local carers and delivers a wide range of local support services to meet the needs of carers in the region. The centre can help you with different things from any entitlements you may have or grants you can apply for.
Where is the centre?
The Princess Royal Trust Dumfries and Galloway Carers Centre
2-6 Nith Street
A drop-in service is available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You don’t need to make an appointment but if you would like to speak to a member of staff privately, it may be best to call ahead first. The service is provided throughout the region, so even if you aren’t able to get to the sessions in Dumfries, there are Carers Support Workers based in Annandale and Eskdale, the Stewartry, Wigtownshire and Upper Nithsdale.
How can the Carers Centre help me?
The Carers Centre aims to care for the carer. The centre offers a wide range of services. Carers can access one part or all parts of the service for a short or long period of time. Each carer is in a different situation, so the services the centre provides are tailored to what will help each individual carer most.
Activities and Groups: This part of the service aims to give you some time out from your caring role by providing fun, relaxing activities like arts and crafts, yoga or coffee and chat groups. Your name can be added to the Carers Centre mailing list ensuring that you receive a calendar of activities letting you know what is on in your area.
Advocacy: Carers are often asked to attend meetings to discuss and plan the services provided to the person they care for. Some Carers benefit from having assistance to plan for these meetings and staff are also available to attend meetings if required.
Alternative Therapy: This part of the service allows carers to access a wide range of alternative therapies and is available throughout the region. They offer reiki, Indian head massage, reflexology and plenty of other options. All alternative therapies are listed in the calendar of activities and a small charge is made for this service.
Assistance to access a carers assessment: Carers are legally entitled to an assessment of their needs to ensure that you can and are willing to carry on providing care. The assessment is provided by Social Services and looks at whether assistance or equipment would help you in your caring role. The Carers Centre Support Workers can refer you to the Social Work department and can provide you with any help and support you may need when being assessed.
Benefits Advice: Carers and their families may be entitled to benefits. The support workers at the Carers Centre can find out and advise on what you could access and provide assistance with the forms.
Carers Support in Hospital: If you, or the person you are caring for, are in hospital, Carers Support Co-ordinators are available at the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and can be contacted on 01387 241384 or via the Social Work Department at Dumfries and Galloway Council, which can be contacted on 030 33 33 3000.
Counselling: The Carers Centre offers access to a free and confidential counselling service. Their Counsellor has worked for the centre for a number of years and specialises in dealing with the issues that carers face. This could be a great chance to talk about your situation in more depth. This service is available throughout the region. If you would like to know more, please contact the Carers Centre on 01387 248600.
Grants and Financial Assistance: Centre staff can also help you to apply for funding for activities or equipment that could make your life easier – this could be a washing machine, tumble dryer or money towards a holiday.
Information and advice: Staff will try to answer any questions that you have. If they can’t find the answer straight away, they will find out where to get an answer, or put you in touch with another organisation that can help. The Carers Centre also produces a newsletter three times a year which gives carers the most up to date information about issues affecting carers.
Training and Education: Many different courses are organised to give you the chance to learn something new. This can be something that may help you in your caring role, manual handling or handling stress or simply be a chance to enjoy yourself doing a pottery class or a computer course. These events are advertised in their calendar of activities.
Young Carers Project: In Dumfries and Galloway there are many children and young people who help to look after someone in their family; this may be a parent, a brother or a sister. Young carers may miss out on things that other children have access to and often take on a level of increased responsibility at home.
The project aims to provide young carers with a break from their caring role through activities and groups held on a regular basis throughout the region. Young carers can access the service between the ages of 7 – 18 and groups are divided into primary and secondary ages. One to one support is also available and can help to deal with problems that young carers can face such as feelings of isolation, frustration or problems at school.