Walk A Mile in a Carer’s Shoes
There are 21,000 unpaid carers in Swindon looking after family members, partners or friends who need help because of an illness, frailty, disability, mental health condition or an addiction and cannot cope without their support.
On June 12th, we are asking you to recognise the incredible job they do by taking part in our annual Walk A Mile fundraising event and by raising vital funds to increase support for unpaid carers in our town.
“I was still working full-time and trying to hold down a job, but after Mick had been home for six months, I was at breaking point. I had professional carers coming in, which was costing us a fortune. My GP said, ‘something has to give’, so I had a chat with Mick and said, ‘I am going to give up work’. I have been his full-time carer ever since.”
Nicky cares for her husband Mick, an RAF veteran who suffered a stroke 14 months into his retirement. He was moved to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he had a craniotomy enabling surgeons to save his life but leaving him paralysed down his left side. Today, he relies on Nicky for every day needs like washing, dressing, medication and meals, as well as looking after the house and managing finances.
Why take part in Walk A Mile?
Being a carer can bring many positives, but it is a role which can be overwhelming and difficult at times.
Having a caring responsibility can often affect your own health, finances and employment opportunities. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have taken on additional caring hours in order to comply with shielding needs or due to changes in regular care services normally relied on for support and respite breaks. Many have felt the effects of isolation, poor mental health and increased financial hardship.
By registering with Swindon Carers Centre, carers gain access to a dedicated team of professional and trained volunteers able to fully assist them in their caring role. This includes:
- Our Carers Support Line
- 1:1 support
- Welfare and benefits advice
- Access to groups and activities, allowing carers to make time for themselves and meet others in a similar situation.
- Our Emergency Card Scheme
- Bereavement support
We often say to our carers, “you may be caring for someone, but who is looking after you?” All funds raised via our Walk A Mile event will help us to increase support for unpaid carers in the Swindon community, improving peoples’ wellbeing so that they can lead a healthy, fulfilling life alongside their caring role.
“Thank you for all the thoughtfulness and gifts. They lifted our spirits when we were down in the dumps. Every gift, phone call, email did a lot to lift our flagging spirits. Thank you to you all.”
“Swindon Carers Centre has been extremely supportive. Staff have gone the extra mile to get me through this period. Somehow they manage to make everyone feel special and put a smile on my face even in a crisis.”
How you can get involved
Walk A Mile is our big event for Carers Week, a national event to raise awareness of caring running from June 7th to June 13th.
Throughout this week, we will be sharing stories from our carers encouraging families, businesses and supporters to take part and raise money for Walk A Mile on Saturday June 12th.
We are delighted that Suzuki and Hyundai car dealership Pebley Beach will be generously sponsoring our Walk A Mile event for another year, match funding anything we raise up to £1,000.
Although we can’t gather together to walk a mile, we’re asking you to do this in your local community following Covid-19 guidelines. Here are a few ideas to help you plan.
To view our Walk A Mile JustGiving page and create your own fundraising page, click here.
To create your page, click ‘start fundraising’ under ‘be a fundraiser’. If you are an existing JustGiving account holder, simply enter your account details to log in. If you do not have an account, enter your email address to sign up to JustGiving (this won’t cost you anything).