Surf Coast carers invited to consultation series

May 15, 2024 BY

Torquay Community House will be the venue of the final Caring for Carers consultation session on June 7. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

A SERIES of consultation sessions aimed at carers across the region will start later this month on the Surf Coast.

Run through the Caring for Carers in the Surf Coast Shire Project, the five sessions are about creating space for carers to come together, to connect to each other and their neighbourhood house and to tell us about their challenges and needs.

“To work together with the guidance of carers’ valuable lived experience to create, not only a resource, but the best possible activities and supports to increase carers health and wellbeing,” Neighbourhood Houses Barwon community development officer Jo Zdybel said.

“The purpose is to use that vital experience to create a network that can also support carers who are overwhelmed and new to their caring role.

“The sessions will provide a supportive and casual space for us to learn and develop the Caring for Carers Network, how that looks and what the outcomes are, is dependent on the results of these gatherings.”

The first of the five sessions will be held at Anglesea Community on May 28 from 10am-1pm.

Venues to follow include Deans Marsh Community Cottage (May 29 from 1.30pm-3.30pm), Winchelsea House (June 4 from 1.30pm-3.30pm), Lorne Community House (June 5 from 1.30pm-3.30pm), and Torquay Community House (June 7 from 1pm-3pm).

The sessions provide a platform for the carers’ voices to be heard and included in the development of the new Surf Coast Carers network being built.

“Many carers feel isolated, missing the social opportunities associated with work, recreation, and leisure activities,” Ms Zdybel said.

“It can be emotionally taxing and physically draining, and carers are 40 per cent more likely to suffer from a chronic health condition.

“It is so important for carers to look after their own needs so they can continue to maintain their own health and wellbeing.”

Ms Zdybel said anyone living with or caring for a loved one who is elderly, has a disability, mental illness, addiction, or long-term health condition is encouraged to attend the sessions.

“You might be a young carer of a family member or providing shared care to a neighbour or friend.

“Many people with a caring role do not identify as carers, and so do not access information, services, and supports. 11 per cent (703,000) of Victorians are carers.”

For further information on the sessions, phone Ms Zdybel on 0458 493 733 or email [email protected]

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