Thousands of Observer-area carers helped by charity

Thousands of carers across the Observer area have been helped during a charity's first year.

The 2,200 registrations with the Carers Support Service – Regis, Chichester and Rural show the demand for help which exists among those who look after others.

Almost 900 of the carers, care for a person with mental health difficulties. A further 151 are responsible for an individual with a learning difficulty.

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Chief executive Anne Easterbrook told the service’s initial annual meeting: “We know carers need support. You might just have a lighter load with us helping you along.

“I hope you will continue to share with us what are the issues for you – the good ones and the bad ones – so we can work together for a better future.”

Mrs Easterbrook also paid tribute at the meeting – held at Bognor Regis Baptist Church last Friday – to the staff who had ensured the service’s work had continued at a time of great change.

She took over in April from Richard North. He told the meeting: “Our mission is not only to combat isolation by bringing carers together at support group meetings, training and information events and social gatherings like our popular garden party, but also to give carers the skills, confidence and knowledge to carry out their vital caring role.

“I believe we ably achieve this, but there is still work to do with increasing numbers of people taking on a caring role every day.”

The service began ten years ago as the Carers’ Liasion Project and was hosted by the Chichester Council for Voluntary Service; it became a fully-fledged independent charity in April 2010. Graham Sharp, who chairs the service’s trustees, said further change was likely with a merger into a countywide organisation by joining with two sister charities, but he stressed services would still be delivered.