Dorset Carers Gain Important Support ‘In Sickness and in Health’

At the St John Ambulance ‘In Sickness and in Health’ event at Poole this week, the focus was very much on providing information and relaxation for the Carer. This is part of their Carers Support Programme.

There are over 42,000 people who are known to provide regular care in Dorset. There are probably many more that are unknown. Across the county, 11% of the population provide unpaid care to a relative or friend. Nearly a third of these Carers work full time.

Society owes a massive debt to these unsung heroes who give of themselves 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This is often in isolation with difficult and emotional circumstances. Listening to the stories of some of these Carers on Monday, I was in awe of what they do and how they cope with the difficulties they face. Few complained and faced their life with quiet stoicism.

There are a number of support agencies out there, including St John Ambulance and Dorset Carers in Crisis. For more information, visit  For full-time Carers, The Leonardo Trust is an independent charity, which recognises the hard work and the need for time off. They provide funds to make this possible. They can be contacted on 01202 698325 or email

I was also shown a book, which I have since ordered, entitled ‘The Selfish Pig’s Guide To Caring: How to cope with the emotional and practical aspects of caring for someone’ by Hugh Marriott. It gives a humorous but vital message about how important it is to look after yourself as a Carer. None of us know when we may have to become one.

As part of the Mind Your Head Challenge, we plan to provide further support to Carers and this will be highlighted at the Showcase on August 12th at Kingston Maurward College between 1 and 5 pm. Entry is only £3.00 and includes access to the beautiful Kingston Maurward Gardens. If you are a Carer and would like to find out more, please come along to this fantastic event or visit the website

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