Make A Difference Day
Free Drop-In Event for Carers
Friday 31st March 2017, 10am-1pm, 2pm-4pm
Sportspace, Park Road, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 1JS
A Beautiful Day of Positivity
What an amazing day all round – for staff, volunteers, stall-holders, those being cared for & most importantly, the carers themselves, many of whom took full advantage of all on offer. The sheer numbers at both morning & afternoon sessions really impressed us all – it was possibly the best attended event by the charity thus far. Please see my video below for photos from the day.
All three complimentary therapists were rushed off our feet & fully-booked the entire day with back-to-back treatments. As Nature To Nurture I was offering seated Indian Champissage offering shoulders, arms, neck & head massage.
Even though it was only for 15 minute taster sessions there was great feedback & many found it gave a good idea to those there what to expect. Carers found the massage extremely relaxing & noticed an immediate difference to hunched-up shoulders & tense necks. In spite of the busy hours the time flew by & I found that I really enjoyed my conversations, hearing all about their experiences & listening to their stories. I also found it incredibly rewarding to be able to help & offer some support & TLC to those who normally can’t take time for themselves & dedicate their lives to looking after others.
Emily Laver of Ametrine Reflexology was allowing people to truly put their feet up for reflexology & foot treatments – I often looked up to see someone lying back with a blissful smile spreading across their face, whilst Linda of Be Well was offering back & shoulder chair massage. The carers were loving every minute & we were all very popular with hardly any time to look around at the other stalls.
We were most grateful to take advantage of the generous buffet lunch provided, although I somehow managed to say no to all the free goodies! There were also stalls with information about the services & support Carers in Hertfordshire offer: the Make A Difference Breaks & Carers Passport schemes. The Carers Camera Club had a beautiful array of members photographs on display, as well as Craft stalls and plenty of tea, coffee, herbal infusions, biscuits, tarts & cakes on offer.
Information on Support & Free Breaks for Carers
Carers in Hertfordshire is a local charity based in Hertfordshire whose aim is to give support & information to unpaid carers, family & friends who look after someone. As usual please click on anything highlighted in green & it will take you to the appropriate internet link.
‘We provide the space for you to discuss practical and emotional concerns around caring & opportunities to share experiences with others. We can provide the information you need to make choices about your life & caring role & the opportunity to have your voice heard by the people who plan services that affect your life. We offer a range of free workshops & training related to caring, but also courses & learning events to help with your life outside caring through our Carers & Learning project. We can also help you access funded breaks. Our Carer Support Advisors are also available to help you find out about more specific services to support you in your caring role if you if you wish to get in touch’
Carers In Hertfordshire offers many services including:
- Passport: a discount card scheme subscribed to by many businesses
- Planning Service: practical help service e.g. benefits, leisure & learning opportunities, emergency planning
- Bereavement Group: to help & support during difficult times
- Support Hubs: community support groups run by carers for carers
- Language Support: support for those with limited English
- Events: a full timetable is provided with this link
One of their most important services is Make A Difference – this service gives carers the chance to access NHS funding for a break from caring, which will have a positive impact on their health & wellbeing. The needs of each individual are discussed before deciding together on the sort of break/relief that will make the biggest difference to their lives – it just has to be something which has a positive health outcome. They have offered gym memberships, complimentary therapies, weekend breaks, music vouchers & even snowboarding lessons!
In spite of the generous funding for the service the charity is keen to have more people register with them overall & take up the offer of free breaks. To this end they will be holding a one day Make A Difference Event to make people aware of:
- Carers In Hertfordshire: services, information & advice they offer
- Young Carers: services, information & advice for children who look after someone
- Free taster sessions of complimentary therapies:
- Tours of Sportspace leisure centre – who also offer sports-based activities for Young Carers
- Stalls from those offering Breaks
- Free Prize Draw – one lucky winner will win a £100 John Lewis voucher
Nature To Nurture – Free Taster Sessions
As Nature To Nurture I will be privileged to be at the event all day. It’s completely free & you can drop in between 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 4pm to sample any of the lovely services listed above. I will be giving free taster sessions of Indian Head Massages as an example of the kind of complimentary therapies, alongside others such as reflexology, that can be given as a Make A Difference Break. I will be happily also offering information on other Massage types & techniques – the Healing Power of Touch & time for oneself. Also advice on Aromatherapy & how it can be of benefit – not only during treatment for the carer but also at home & for those they care for.
“The break you receive could be some complimentary therapy, equipment to pursue a hobby, training or a qualification, a holiday, something to support you in keeping fit or anything else that will benefit you”
If you know of anyone who cares or looks after someone else on an unpaid or voluntary basis, or if you care for a family member or friend yourself, then do drop in & make use of the services, advice & support offered – all for free!