New service celebrates ahead of Carers Week

A PIONEERING service which provides support to carers and families of people affected by cancer across the Southern Health and Social Care Trust is to celebrate their launch ahead of Carers Week.

The new Macmillan Carers Support Workers at the Newry and Mourne Carers Centre is a pilot project providing the first dedicated carers service for people affected by cancer in Northern Ireland and will offer both emotional and practical support for carers of all ages.

There are over 185,000 carers in Northern Ireland and 25 per cent of these are caring for more than 50 hours per week compared to 20 per cent in England.

Newry and Mourne Carers Centre is part of the Carers Trust network and provides support for family carers, working with them to alleviate the financial, social and emotional burdens that their caring role imposes upon them.

The new service will provide carers of people living with cancer access to an extensive range of services and support, including services available to all carers through Newry and Mourne Carers’ Centre, such as information and advice, emotional and practical support and support for young carers.

Macmillan Development Manager, Barry McVeigh said, “Cancer can affect people in many different ways and Macmillan’s aim is to provide practical and emotional support to anyone affected by this disease.

“Caring for someone with cancer can be extremely stressful and many carers suffer adversely from social isolation, financial hardship, loss of self esteem and in the majority of cases find their own health suffering as a result of their caring role.

“Newry and Mourne Carers are experts in providing support to carers, we have seen the impact the Centre has had with the carers they provide support to, and are delighted to be working with them to offer this specialist support specifically for those caring for people with cancer.”

Sean Caughey, Operations Director Newry and Mourne Carers said, “Newry and Mourne Carers is celebrating 25 years of offering support services to family carers.

“We have always taken great pride in our innovative approach to service provision for carers and programmes offered are based on need. We listen to carers and what they want and strive to provide it. This latest service is again testimony to that policy but it is particularly special in that we have collaborated with Macmillan Cancer Support and Carers Trust - two of the leading UK Charities.

“The fact that these two organisations now work with us on service development and delivery is an endorsement of our work and we are very confident that carers of patients with cancer will undoubtedly benefit from the collaboration. We look forward to working with all the key stakeholders and particularly the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to deliver a timely and relevant service.”

To find out more about the Macmillan/NMC Carers Support Programme visit Newry and Mourne Carers website www.carers-nm.org or email info@carers-nm.org or alternatively telephone the centre on 028 30267015 and speak to one of the Macmillan Care Support Workers – Lorraine Murphy or Richard Black.