LITA Walpole is manager of Cariads - Carers Information, Advice and Support. The organisation support all unpaid adult carers within Thurrock, mean any carers who are not employed as carers, but doing it as a job.
Cariads consider a carer to be someone who is helping or supporting another person by doing something they can't do themselves. Most people will not consider themselves a carer, just a person helping out someone because they feel it is their duty.
Lita and her team recently worked tirelessly throughout carers week, putting on numerous events. This week's You Gazette looks in more detail at what this vital organisation does.
1) Why is it so important that unpaid carers are recognised?
Unpaid carers are saving the Government huge sums of money with the support they are providing. Some are entitled to get a little bit of financial support, but don't realise it. It is important that carers are recognised as they may feel that they are OK at the moment and not in need of support, but they may become ill themselves or find caring becomes too much.
2) How can people be known to Cariads?
By emailing or telephoning us, by arranging a visit or to meet somewhere to complete an assessment and put an action plan in place. People can attend one of our support groups or go on our mailing list. We have a regularly updated Facebook page and drop-inﾒs at different places across the borough.
3) How did carers week go for Cariads?
We held nine events/activities throughout the week and it was very rewarding to see the results. We registered another 40 new carers during the week and shared the message with more residents.
We held an information event for carers, a well-being day where carers could come and have a little bit of "me" time and we also held a picnic at Grays Beach for carers to bring their loved ones too and the weather held out, it was a lovely day.
4) Are there any prime examples in Thurrock of hardworking carers?
We come across so many carers in our role - we have 850 carers registered with us now. They are all unsung heroes; selfless, caring and inspiring people. There are some that are absolutely incredible and amaze us with how they do what they do. We are looking into the possible of having an awards ceremony later in the year to recognise these very special individuals.
5) What are the best things about Thurrock? How do you see the future of the Borough panning out?
I'm a Thurrock Resident born and bred and very proud of that. The community I grew up in was one where everyone knew their neighbours, looked out for each other and if you had an elderly neighbour people helped out with getting a bit of shopping, or clearing paths in the Winter etc. I remember the street parties of 1977 with the Queenﾒs Jubilee and it being organised by the whole community.
I feel the Royal Wedding and Queens Diamond Jubliee brought this back, with street parties and people getting to know their neighbours again. I feel positive that Thurrock is moving in the right direction to be a caring borough again.
6) And finally what's your favourite thing about the Thurrock Gazette?
The Gazette is such a recognised name in Thurrock and has been for many years. If you want to know what is going on in the area people always say, look in this weeks Gazette.