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September 12 2014.

Mike Hemmings reports:

On Wednesday the 3rd of September Nadia Bodle came along to a lunch meeting of the Rotary Club of Seaford where she explained to members the role of the Association of Carers.

This organisation was originally set up in the Hastings area, but now supports unpaid Carers in all of East Sussex - a measure of the success and need of this initiative. The mission of the Association is "Supporting unpaid Carers in East Sussex to continue in their caring role by providing free, high quality, volunteer-led services that encourage independence and reduce isolation".

Some facts about Carers nationally include
• Carers save the economy £119 billion per year

• 1 in 8 adults is a Carer

• 3 in 5 people become Carers at some point in their life.

More locally
• There are 60,000 unpaid Carers in East Sussex

• 13,000 unpaid Carers in East Sussex provide more than 50 hours of care each week

• Many people don’t receive the support they need because they don’t see themselves as Carers.

The services provided by the Association are dependent upon volunteers who give regular respite breaks to Carers, enabling the opportunity to have some time to themselves. As well as that, the Association offers Talk and Support, providing Carers with a listening ear and the opportunity to discuss their caring role in confidence. Some of the volunteers use their skills teaching Carers how to use their computer in ways that will support them in their caring role, helping them to have more time to themselves and reducing their isolation. Others give Young Carers the opportunity to take a break from their caring role and/or supporting them with their studies.

Volunteers come from all walks of life and give their time for free. They are often rewarded by the difference they make to people's lives.

The Association of Carers is funded by
• East Sussex County Council

• Grants from trusts & foundations

• Donations from individuals & charitable organisations

• Corporate sponsors

• Fundraising events

• Collections

• Legacies & gifts in Memoriam

Find out more from:
Association of Carers
Jackson Hall
Portland Place
TN34 1QN
Phone 0300 330 9848

Pictured above: Nadia Bodle by Mike Hemmings