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New scheme to benefit hundreds of unpaid carers in Norwich and South Norfolk

Community care coaches, Bev Bond (left) and Carolyn Allen (right).

Community care coaches, Bev Bond (left) and Carolyn Allen (right).

Archant

Hundreds of unpaid carers are to benefit from a pilot scheme that aims to provide them with individual support in their own homes.

It will see carers in Norwich and South Norfolk receive one-to-one coaching in order to give them more confidence to look after an older person.

The free programme, which is being delivered by the Carers Agency Partnership (CAP), is available to people who care for someone over the age of 65 in their own home.

And people are now being invited to register with the scheme.

Kevin Vaughan, CAP manager, said: “Carers often tell us that they feel thrown in the deep end when it comes to looking after an elderly relative or friend at home.

“They feel they haven’t always got the confidence, knowledge or skills that they need to keep that person safe and healthy for as long as possible and also look after themselves physically and emotionally.

“This unique coaching scheme helps the carer to get the skills and confidence they need to look after someone, enables them to access other information, advice and individual support along the way.”

Mr Vaughan said it could also lead to fewer older people being admitted to hospital or going into residential care.

CAP has committed to supporting more than 250 carers and hopes to roll out the service to the rest of Norfolk depending on its success.

It was made possible thanks to £60,000 in funding from Health Education England and is running until September.

The scheme will see a trained community care coach visit a carer’s home and provide them with personalised guidance on a variety of topics.

People will receive advice on everything from meal preparation and nutrition, to how they can minimise common health problems for the person they look after.

People will be able to request a total of three visits during the seven-month period.

Speaking about the future of the scheme, Mr Vaughan said: “Our first ambition is to secure continuous funding and expand it county wide.

“We think one of the challenges will be to demonstrate how this service can improve outcomes for the carer and the person they care for.”

community care coach, Bev Bond, said: “The really good thing about this scheme is that we develop and deliver the learning with the carer in their own home, on a one-to-one basis.

“It’s tailored to cover the skills and knowledge that the carer thinks are important to them, and to the needs of the cared-for person.”

To find out more, or to self-refer, call Norfolk Carers Advice Line on 0808 808 9876 or email cap@carersagencypartnership.org.uk

What are your experiences of community care? Write to luke.powell@archant.co.uk.

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