News

New Digital Resource for Carers

Action for Carers Oxfordshire, recognise just how important it is for carers to get the right information, advice and support at the right time, this is a crucial part of coping. That is why we have joined forces with national charity, Carers UK to allow carers to have the ability to access information through a new online platform that can be accessed 24/7.  Unpaid carers of people living in Oxfordshire will have free, anytime access to the Digital Resource for Carers, an online environment that hosts a range of resources to help carers manage.

How to get the online resource 

We need to let carers know this is an extra tool in their kit; we will continue to provide the high level of support we are so well known for, our specialist teams will support carers in Oxfordshire, in a range of ways from home visits to free courses giving carers the knowledge and skills to manage their day to day caring role.
If you would like to find out about our range of ways to get carers support you can:

 

Free courses for carers

A carer's journey

Action for Carers Oxfordshire has teamed up with Oxfordshire Adult Learning to create a programme of free courses for carers in January 2018. 

The courses - on the theme 'A Carer's Journey' - will help carers:

  • learn new skills
  • how to understand their caring role
  • how to adapt to any significant change
  • increase wellbeing and quality of life by learning strategies that will help carers to cope and manage.

Workshops

The three-hour workshops include:

Phase 1 - Skills and confidence building will help carers gain the skills needed to keep them self safe and physically well.

It consists of three sessions: 

  • First aid at home
  • Safer moving & handling at home
  • Individual care at home

Phase 2 - Wellbeing and self recognition assures carers that they are not alone in their experiences or feelings and enables them to take proactive approaches to their caring roles helping to sustain them in the future and prevent them from becoming unwell.

It consists of five sessions:

  • Building resilience
  • Emotional Literacy
  • Mindfulness
  • Yoga for Relaxation
  • Aromatherapy Massage

Phase 3 - Life after caring is created to help carers at a time of significant change such as bereavement or moving into care, it’s aimed at helping carers to manage feelings and change. A short course that supports the practical and emotional challenges associated with change and life after caring.

We recommend the full journey but it’s up to you; you can choose which would be most helpful to you.

How to sign up

 All of these courses are free to carers and Action for Carers volunteers; aged 19 or above, they are on the college website now or call 01235 555 585 to sign up.

Support

Would you like to attend but can’t leave the person you support? We may be able to offer support for the person you care for so that you can attend? Time Out service offers up to 20 hours free time out so you could attend these courses (Time Out support is also free). 

 

Join our London-Surrey cycling team in summer 2018!

About the ride

  • Event date:  29/07/2018
  • Location: London
  • Registration fee: £45
  • Minimum sponsorship: £500
  • Distance: 100 miles

Celebrating the legacy for cycling created by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 starts in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, then follows a 100-mile route on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey’s stunning countryside.

With leg-testing climbs and a route made famous by the world’s best cyclists at the London 2012 Olympics, it's a truly spectacular event for all involved. Plus experience an iconic finish on the Mall riding towards Buckingham Palace.

This is a fabulous opportunity to put yourself to the test and ride traffic free through central London.

Join our team

We'd love you to join our Action for Carers team!

You will receive:

  • a Ride London Surrey 100 support pack equipped with loads of fundraising tips and challenge advice to help you prepare
  • regular enewsletters in the lead up to the event to help keep you motivated
  • an Action for Carers cycling jersey to wear for the event
  • a dedicated and experienced coordinator who will be on hand to answer your questions
  • fundraising materials when requested.

More information

Contact Tracey Desmond 01235 520463 or email traceydesmond@carersoxfordshire.org.uk   

Caring Matters conference: save the date!

The Caring Matters 2017 Conference will be held on Friday 24 November 2017 at 9am - 4pm.

Venue: Kassam Stadium, Oxford.

To book

Free mindfulness introductions

Mindfulness helps us to balance our lives, restores energy and effectively cope with difficult thoughts and painful emotions.

Free introduction sessions for carers

Chipping Norton

  • When: 5 and 12 October 10.00-11.30am
  • Where: Chipping Norton Health Centre, Russell Way, Chipping Norton Oxfordshire OX7 5FA

Banbury

  • When: 7 and 14 September 10.00-11.30am
  • Where: St Leonards Banbury, 46 Middleton Road, Banbury Oxfordshire OX16 4RG

Botley

  • When: 9 and 16 November 10.00-11.30am
  • Where: Dean Court Community Centre, Pinnocks Way, Botley Oxfordshire OX2 9DG

Abingdon

  • When: 8 and 15 February 2018 10.00-11.30am
  • Where: St Etherwoulds, 30 East St Helens Street, Abingdon Oxfordshire OX14 5EB

Faringdon

  • When: 8 and 15 March 2018 10.00-11.30am
  • Where: Venue to be confirmed in Faringdon

Signing in

Please arrive 10 minutes early to sign in.

Booking

Booking essential Telephone: 01235 520463 or email: traceydesmond@carersoxfordshire.org.uk

About mindfulness

Evidence suggests there are steps we can all take to improve our emotional wellbeing.

Find more about mindfullness at http://www.nhs.uk

Live Well Oxfordshire

When you or your loved one need support or want to find new opportunities, it can be hard to know where to start looking. 

Live Well Oxfordshire is a website to help you look for local services that could support you or your loved one, whether that’s with care, staying healthy or finding education and leisure opportunities.

If you’re not sure what you are looking for, you can just browse through the different types of services to see if there’s anything that might help and get ideas. If you do know what you want, you can simply search for what you’re looking for. 

What sort of information can I find on Live Well Oxfordshire?

Live Well Oxfordshire is a directory of services for adults in Oxfordshire. The directory includes the following types of services:

  • Looking after someone
  • Living at home 
  • Health, recovery and wellbeing 
  • Care homes and housing with support
  • Life events
  • Money matters
  • Working and learning
  • Getting out and about

The directory will provide information about each service, such as:

  • What the service does
  • Who the service is aimed at
  • The location
  • Contact details and further information
  • Where is the information coming from?

Oxfordshire County Council has set up Live Well Oxfordshire in partnership with Age UK and Affinity Works. 

 

Courses for carers

Carers Oxfordshire is working with Oxfordshire Adult Learning to support courses for carers at more than 70 locations across the county.

Carers can sign up to any part-time course across the county; Carers Oxfordshire may pay fees up to the value of £50.

How to choose a course

To take up a course at any one of the locations:

  1. Check out the part-time courses at www.abingdon-witney.ac.uk or call Abingdon 01235 555585 to request a part time prospectus.
  2. Choose a course that suits you.
  3. Call Carers Oxfordshire on 01235 520463 or email traceydesmond@carersoxfordshire.org.uk  to let us know what you would like to do.  If we are able to we will give you the go ahead, take some details and send you a letter stating the fee that will be paid.
  4. Enrol on the course:
    • call the admissions team on 01235 555585, or
    • in person at your local campus (check opening times).
  5. Let the admissions team know that you have sponsorship.
  6. Enjoy your course.

Courses can fill up quickly. 

Join a carers' tour of Broughton Castle

Broughton Castle, home to the 21st Lord and Lady Saye and Sele,  is a moated and fortified manor house near Banbury in North Oxfordshire (OX15 5EB). Set in parkland and built of the rich local Hornton ironstone, it was selected by Simon Jenkins as one of only twenty to be awarded five stars in his book England’s Thousand Best Houses.  The ownership of the castle has remained in the same family since 1447.  

Lord Saye and Sele (Hon Martin Fiennes) will give a personal tour of the house to 25 carers on Tuesday 6 June. 

What the day includes

The day includes:

  • a free tour of the castle at 11am
  • sandwich and salad lunch with a drink in the tea room (there is a cost for this at £10.50 per person. I’m afraid we have to ask carers to pay – we can collect money or cheques from people on the day).
  • walk in the gardens.

Attendees must be able to get to Broughton Castle and be physically able to take the 75-minute tour.  The group will be up to 25 people.  There are 161 stairs on the tour of the castle.  The castle is a short walk from the car park (about 300 paces).

How to book

Places are limited. Please contact Michelle on 01235 849470 or  email  michelleevans@carersoxforshire.org.uk to request a place.

State of Caring Survey 2017

Finding out the truth about carers' lives

Carers UK is gathering evidence from its latest survey to push for change.

In the biggest survey of its kind of carers in the UK, the data collected paints a real picture of the life carers lead. 

What happens to your feedback?

The campaigning charity runs the survey each year to find out what life is like for people who are caring, and what needs to change to make life better. It uses the responses to provide evidence to policy makers.

In the last year, evidence has been used to:

  • submit research to the UK Government's Carers Strategy
  • demonstrate that the Care Act in England is not making enough of a difference to carers' lives
  • argue for the needs of carers to be central in housing policy.

Carers' personal payments from 1 April 2017

Changes to carers' personal budgets in Oxfordshire were agreed by Oxfordshire County Council and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group in February 2017 following the carers' consultation last year. We have made changes so that we can continue to provide support, within the reduced financial resources available. 
 
Reports produced at the end of the consultation were submitted to the council's Cabinet meeting on 24 January 2017 ahead of the decisions agreed in February 2017. You can see them here.

Carers' personal payment 

The decision made is that from 1 April 2017, there will be a 'flat rate' payment of £300 awarded following a carers' assessment or a carers' review to those carers who are assessed as having high needs. 
 
This will be called a carers' personal payment, and it is for carers to use for themselves, in a way that supports them in their caring role.

More information

More information about carers' assessments and carers' reviews.

 

Carers' personal budgets - what's changing?

Following the recent carers' consultation, Oxfordshire County Council has agreed changes to the current carers' personal budgets scheme which will affect the number of carers eligible for the personal budget payments and the level of payment awarded. These changes will come into effect from 1 April 2017and further information will be available before then.

If you have been sent a carers' review letter, please go online and complete the review form or contact Carers Oxfordshire for assistance before 15 March 2017. Any carers who need to complete a new carers' assessment as a result of their review should do so before 31 March 2017 to be assessed under the current scheme.

Completing your paperwork

If you have been awarded a carer's personal budget and have not yet returned your completed paperwork, this should be done before 1 May 2017.

Safe and Well visits

The Safe and Well visit is a totally free service offered by Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service.

If you would like us to we will visit you in your home to see what we can do to make you safer. We will have a chat with you around improving your health and wellbeing.

When we visit we will fit free smoke alarms and offer advice to make you and your family safer at home.

During the visit the fire service can offer you advice and support, providing simple interventions where they can, to reduce any immediate risk from falls, fire, flood or power cut and we can give advice to protect from scams and doorstep crime.

Video

Here’s a short video about Safe and Well visits from the Chief Fire Officers Association. 

Whether you’re a professional working with a vulnerable client, or look after a friend or family member in their home, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service can help by answering your questions and providing support.

How to request a visit

Request a visit online at 365alive.co.uk/safewell. Telephone 08000 325 999 or email community.safey@oxfordshire.gov.uk if you have any fire safety concerns or questions

Rally round to support carers

A new online service is bringing together Oxfordshire carers to help their loved ones stay safe and well at home.

Rally Round is a free digital network which enables family members, friends and carers to create and organise support for themselves and the person they care for.

Rally Round, which is backed by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) and Carers Oxfordshire, was designed to help frail older people and their family carers, but can be used to help anyone who needs more practical support.

Watch the video:

Dr Barbara Batty, OCCG clinical lead for older people, said: "This is an exciting digital tool to make life easier for carers in Oxfordshire. It's like social media where new starters are supported to set up their own network.

"Individuals become part of the network by invitation only and can be family, close friends or professionals - so someone well-known and trusted.

"Rally Round promotes strong support networks which in turn help people stay out of hospital or reduce their dependence on care services."

Carers start by inviting friends and family to form a support network. They can all add things that need doing, discuss details and volunteer to help. Texts and emails alerts remind everyone in the in the network who is doing what and when things are done.

Catherine Blaxhall, Head of Carers Support at Carers Oxfordshire, said: "Rally Round is all about getting jobs done. A carer logs that their fence has blown down, for example, and asks if someone in their network can fix it.

"People on the network will know when somebody has agreed to do the task. It's helpful as carers are not sending repeated texts and making phone calls – saving time and stress. It can be easier for the carer to ask for help via a network rather than approaching an individual.

"Here in Oxfordshire the carers signed up to Rally Round have used it to help plan a hospital discharge for a cared for person with dementia; a parent carer with cancer is using it to organise for her disabled children to be helped to school and activities on the days she feels less well, and a working carer is using it to build up a network of support around her elderly mother. It is a wonderful resource for anyone needing support and has almost unlimited potential.”