A record 75 carers and their families and friends enjoyed an afternoon of relaxation in the sun at a special Carers’ Pamper Afternoon at the Hospice last week.
Marking the end of national Carers Week (6 -12th June), which this year had a focus on building carer-friendly communities, the free event was a chance for Herts and Bucks carers, caring for someone being supported by the Hospice or in the community, to have some time out and meet other people in a similar situation courtesy of the Berkhamsted-based charity.
They enjoyed tea and cake in the gardens, took part in pilates sessions and had the chance to get information and speak to representatives from seven other organisations including Age UK, Carers in Herts, Carers in Bucks, Herts County Council Carer Practitioners, The Motor Neurone Disease Association, Macmillan UK, and The Multiple Sclerosis Society.
They also enjoyed relaxing massage sessions or mini-manicures, a browse round the craft, gift, jewellery and plant stalls and live music, from Just Friends Jazz Trio.
Carol Newman, 52, from Hemel Hempstead, cares for her elderly mother who has Alzheimer’s. Carol, who enjoyed the spa treatments with her mum, said, “The shoulder massage was so lovely and gentle, massaging me in all the right places. It was really relaxing and left me feeling really pampered.”
Tracey, from Bovingdon, and Anna, from Bourne End - both carers for their children - said, “We really appreciate the lovely atmosphere today. It’s lovely to have an opportunity to take time for ourselves and to enjoy a treat.”
Meanwhile, Jo Hislop, a Carer Practitioner from Herts County Council Carers Practitioners, said, “What a wonderful place and a glorious afternoon. We were able to access hard to reach carers and directly refer them for assessments.”
“Carers work so hard and deserve some pampering,” says Claire Hewitt, Carer Support Coordinator at the Hospice. “They’re often people who are under enormous strain and can sometimes feel undervalued but the aim of our Carers’ Afternoon is to offer this very special group of people an afternoon of relaxation and treats, away from the stresses and strains of their daily routines.
“It was lovely to see so many people here relaxing and enjoying some rejuvenating me-time. Some of them were visiting the Hospice for the first time. This is the seventh year we’ve held the event and the feedback has been fantastic.”
“We’d like to say a big thank you to all the Hospice staff, volunteers, individuals, stall holders, companies and groups including ‘Just Friends’ Jazz Trio, Champneys Tring, Bespoke Beauty, Kay Wraith, pilates instructor, and the staff from the Alford Arms, who gave their time and expertise to make the day such a success.”
“We were also extremely lucky to be supported by all the organisations and charities from our own community, who provided advice and support to our guests as part of the theme of National Carers week – Building Carer-Friendly Communities.”
If you’re a carer, check out the Hospice’s Spring Centre programme at http://www.stfrancis.org.uk to see if there are any forthcoming carers’ workshops you’d like to access.
The Hospice is also running various courses for carers at its Spring Centre during the Autumn including a First Aid course for carers on September 21st and a Care Towards the End of Life course starting on Tuesday 6th September from 2-4pm for six weeks.
For more information, please contact the Spring Centre Admin Team on 01442 869550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org