We are delighted to announce that Allchurches Trust have awarded us a #HopeBeyond grant for our new Carers Connected project. Carers Together will provide a safe, friendly space for informal carers to connect with others over weekly Zoom calls, providing peer support, togetherness and prayer opportunities.
We have spoken to Christian carers about the challenges of caring. It can be isolating and tiring - all the more during lockdown when usual activities like dementia cafes or day centres are closed. Nationally, 80% of carers say they feel lonely or isolated, and 61% have experienced physical ill health as a result of caring. Christian carers can find themselves cut off from their church community if they are unable to attend due to the needs of the person they care for. Others find attending church a welcome lifeline of support, but this has been disrupted by the pandemic. Online services have enabled many to worship from their homes, but not always to experience the fellowship they might get from attending in person.
Technological advancements during recent months, like Zoom, create opportunities to connect Christian carers across the country. Carers Connected will provide a safe space for them to connect weekly over Zoom to chat and pray, with regular guest speakers, followed by discussion groups. Those without online access will be able to phone in to participate. Carers told us they don't just want to talk about subjects relating to caring, but to tap into peoples' passions and talents, hearing about the diverse hobbies and interests of others, so this will be incorporated into the programme.
We will also be preparing resources for churches on caring for carers.
We are busy behind the scenes getting a pilot project ready for launch. If you know a carer who might like to be involved, please encourage them to contact us to find out more.
We are hugely grateful to Allchurches Trust for their support in helping to make Carers Connected a reality.