Carmarthenshire Carers News

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					       Issue 36                                                                              July 2009

      Carmarthenshire Carers' News
  Are you looking after a relative, friend or neighbour on a regular basis who
    could not manage without your help? If so, this newsletter is for you.

                                                        News from Carers Wales
      Carers Poverty Charter                          “Carers cannot wait. Too many carers are
                                                      already struggling to afford the basic
Government has promised a review of
                                                      costs of living, unable to study or work
carers’ benefits and pledged t hat by 2018,
                                                      without their benefits being cut-off or
carers won’t be forced into financial
                                                      facing the removal of their allowance when
har dship by caring.
                                                      they start to claim their pension.
Carers UK say “Carers cannot wait - they
                                                      The UK's 6 million carers save the country
are falling into poverty and financial hardship
                                                      an estimated £87 billion per year. In return,
now, and need urgent ac tion. Carers’ benefits
must be reformed to p ro tect carers from             the main carer's benefit is the lowest of its
poverty and to support carers to combine              kind, paid at only £53.10 a week for a
caring with work and stu dy.                          minimum of 35 hours caring, equivalent to
                                                      £1.52 per hour - far short of the national
We’re calling on the public, along with
                                                      minimum wage of £5.73 per hour.
charities, voluntary organisations and
employers, to add their voice to this Charter         We call upon the Government to set out an
                                                      urgent timetable of action to improve
and send a message to government - reform
                                                      carers' benefits and income. The carers'
carers’ benefits and end carer poverty now.”
                                                      benefits system must:
Carers UK plans to present the Charter                *Protec t carers fro m falling into poverty or
to the government and all political                   financial hardship
parties later this summer.                            *Reflect carers' different circumstances
Find out more about how to add your name              *Help carers to combine caring with paid work
by going to email or              and study
phone                                                 *Be easy to understand and straightforward 029 2081 1370                    to claim
      Carers Poverty Charter                          Alzhei mer's Soci ety, Carers UK, Ci ti zens Advi ce,
“We, the undersigned, call for an end to              Contact a Fami ly, Counsel and Care, Crossroads
                                                      Cari ng for Carers, Every Di sabled Chi ld Matters,
carer poverty.
                                                      for dem enti a, Mencap, Macmi llan Cancer, Motor
In the National Stra tegy for Carers the              Neurone Di sease Soci ety, Nati onal Auti sti c
Government pledged tha t, by 2018, carers will        Soci ety, Oxfam, Parki nson's Di sease Soci ety,
be supported so that they are not forced into         Pri ncess Royal Trust for Carers, Rethi nk, Vi tali se. “
financial hardship by their caring role.”             Add your name.

         Produced by the Carers’ Project, CAVS, The Mount, 18 Queens Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1JT
                                         Funded by Health & Social Care
Inside this issue:                                     Dial-a-ride Bus Services
 Page 2
♦ Di al a ri de; Informati on for people w i th
di sabi li ti es
                                                       Bws Bach Scheme
 Page 3                                                This project provides a door-to-door
♦ Onli ne & Telephone Benefi ts Checker; S hel ter
                                                       service for people who live off the
Cymru Debt Advi ce; Stress Control Trai ni ng Course
Page 4                                                 beaten track, or those in wheelchairs
♦ Yellow Card Report; Fami ly Fund Ex tra              and with mobility problems.
Page 5                                                 The service calls at a number of stops, but
♦ Bi polar Carers Trust UK; Mental Health Carers
                                                       it can also be pre-booked by passengers
Advocacy; Hafal Carers Groups;
Page 6                                                 who want it to divert off the main route
♦ New s from the Mencap Fami ly Advi ser Servi ce      and pick t hem up from home. Buses are
Page 7                                                 running in Pembrey, Burry Port, Kidwelly
♦ Wellbei ng Footcare: Di rect Payments                and Llanelli, and another has just been re-
Page 8
                                                       launched in Carmarthen.
♦ Carers Assessments; Celebrati on of Car ers Acts
                                                       Officers from CCC Passenger Transport
Blue Badge Parking                                     Unit are now urging people who use the
Please contact Carmarthenshire Direct to find          service, or would like to access it, to get in
out whether you are eligible for a Blue Badge          touch with their views and suggestions.
Parking Permit on 0845 658 0445.
                                                       Head of Transport Trevor Sage said
Carmarthenshire Direct can also tell you where
dedicated spaces are located.                          “Feedback from our customers is essential
                                                       to provide reliable and sustainable
Keys for Public Conveniences                           transport. We are keen to find out if
The County Council is currently working to             existing or potential users have any views
improve its public conveniences located across         or suggestions on the bws bach service and
the County with the aim of making them all             we would encourage t hem to contact us.”
accessible to disabled customers.
All disabled persons toilets are fitted with           Passengers who want to pre-book dial a
RADAR locks, accessible by NKS Keys tha t are          ride journeys shoul d register with the
available to registered disabled persons from          county council first. Bookings can then be
Carmarthenshire Direct Customer Service                made between 9.30am and 12 noon on
centres (proof of disability may be required)          weekdays, up to the day before travel.
0845 658 0445
                                                       Bookings for Saturdays and Mondays
Please note that there is a charge for the key
                                                       should be made by the Friday before by
Council Tax                                            ringing 0845 634 0661.
Some disabled people and anyone living on              Comments on the service should be sent
their own can get a reduction in Council Tax.          to the Passenger Transport Unit, CCC,
If you are not able to come to the office, an          Llanstephen Road, Johnstown,
officer can visit you in your home to give advice
                                                       Carmarthen, SA31 3LZ, telephone
or help you to fill in forms.
                                                       01267 224386. or ema il:
Telephone Housing Benefit 01554 742100
Council Tax Benefit 01554 742200             

        Produced by the Carers’ Project, CAVS, The Mount, 18 Queens Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1JT
                                        Funded by Health & Social Care
Online benefits checker
A free benefits checker can be found on                   Stress Control
the national Age Concern website at:                       Six Session Training Course and follow the links           *Learn to face your fears
/AgeConcern/benefits-checker.asp                     *Learn ways to help you sleep
You can use this to help you calculate what          *Learn how to manage your mood
benefits you could be claiming. There are full       *Learn how to relax
instructions on how to use it and no personal        *Learn how to control panic
                                                     *Learn how to reduce your stress
information is required, so your privacy is
assured.                                             This free course is for people who want to
                                                     learn better ways to get on top of problems
Help on the telephone
                                                     such as depr ession, anxiety, panic, poor
Both /Age Concern and Help the Aged
                                                     sleep and low self confidence.
operate free national information lines
where you can get basic advice on claiming           ‘Stress Control’ is a class not a group therapy
benefits. The Age Concern National                   so you do not have to talk about your
Information Line is on 0800 00 99 66 and             problems’
Help the Aged SeniorLine is on 0808 800              You just need to turn up, sit back and learn
6565                                                 some grea t ways to control stress.
                                                     Stress is common so there may be lo ts of
Shelter Cymru                                        people in the class – if it helps, you are welcome
                                                     to bring someone with you.
Free Debt Advice
Shelter Cymru advises that your debt                 Regular courses are held in two locations across
problems won’t go away if you ignore them            Carmarthenshire:
                                                     Carmarthen Library            Wednesdays
and you could end up with other difficulties
                                                     Wesleyan Hall Llanelli        Thursdays
They have a team of trained debt advisers            The courses alternate between evenings and
across Wales who can give free, independent
                                                     daytime so if you have work commitmen ts you
and confidential advice.                             have a choice between times and venues
They can help to:                                    Does ‘Stress Con trol’?
*Stop repossessions, bailiffs and court action
                                                     This training has been researched and
*organise your finances
                                                     evaluated as an extremely effective tool to
*check if you can claim any extra income or
                                                     combat stress. It meets with the Na tional
                                                     Insti tute of Clinical Excellence (NICE)
*work out a plan for dealing with your creditors
and debts
*explain which debts should be paid first            ‘ Stress Con trol’ is taught by Alison and Liza,
*negotiate repaymen ts with your creditors on        registered Men tal Health Nurses. Alison has
your behalf                                          extensive experience in teaching and working
*Budget for the fu ture                              with Stress Control and CBT programmes. Liza
*Get back in control of your money                   has a wealth of experience within the men tal
Call Shelter Cymru Advice & Support Services         health field.
on 0845 075 5005 and ask for Debt Advice             For more information please ring Alison and
or email             Liza on 01554 744472

       Produced by the Carers’ Project, CAVS, The Mount, 18 Queens Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1JT
                                       Funded by Health & Social Care
Yellow Cards
                                                      Family Fund Extra
Helping to make medicines safer
                                                      A new online scheme to help families
If you think the medicine you are taking may
                                                      caring for sick and disabled children
have caused a side effect, you can report this
to the MHRA (Medicine and Healthcare                  This online buying club, launched on 2nd
products Regulatory Agency) using the Yellow          July, is giving discounts of up to 25% from
Card.                                                 leading online retailers for all families with
How do I make a Yellow Cared report?                  a disabled child. It’s free to join at
*online at            
*call the Yellow Card ho tline on 0808 100
                                                      More than a hundred companies are signed
                                                      up to the scheme including Tesco, Marks
*look out for a Yellow Card leaflet and
                                                      and Spencer, Comet, Argos, Boots and
complete the form inside. Your GP or Pharmacy
may have copies of the leaflet.                       Haven Holidays. General shoppers can also
What to report?                                       buy through t he scheme and raise money
You can report suspec ted side effects of any         for the Family Fund Trust.
medicine or herbal remedy, whether                    The Fund receives commission on every
prescribed by your doctor or bought withou t a        purchase which can then be re-distribu ted as
prescription. Why report side effects?                grants to help lower income families with
Reports are used to iden tify side effects and        severely disabled children.
other problems which might no t have been
                                                      The Family Fund help s families with severely
known about before.
                                                      disabled children to have choices and the
If a new side effect is found, the MHRA will
                                                      opportunity to enjoy ordinary life.
review the way tha t medicine can be used, and
the warnings tha t are given to people taking it.     We give grants for things tha t make life
                                                      easier and more enjoyable for the disabled
Carmarthenshire Carers Alliance                       child and their family, such as washing
The Alliance is an informal network of                machines, driving lessons, hospital visiting
voluntary groups, organisations and individual        costs, computers and holidays and help to
carers. It works to promo te the recognition of       meet their caring needs.
carers in Carmarthenshire, and seeks to               The Fund is a registered charity, helping
influence the planning, commissioning and             around 50,000 families in the UK with £30.5
development of services for carers.                   million in grants a year.
We meet a t least 4 times a year for regular          Good news for young people aged 16 &
business and host an annual Carers Rights Day         17. The Family Fund are pleased tell you
event and hold events during Carers Week.
                                                      that we have been able to raise our age
If you are a carer, or have recently been             limits. From the 1st of April 2009 we can
caring for someone, and would like to join the        now give grants for severely
Alliance, you would be very welcome. You would
                                                      disabled young people up to age 18 in
be offered support to attend meetings. If you
                                                      England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and
would like more information please phone
                                                      Wales. For further information call 01904
Joanne at the Carers Projec t on 01267
236436                                                550037 or visit

        Produced by the Carers’ Project, CAVS, The Mount, 18 Queens Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1JT
                                        Funded by Health & Social Care
                                                     Bipolar Carers Trust UK
                                                     The Bipolar Trust UK is an organisation
                                                     which has been set up by bipolar carers to
HEADWAY                                              help support and offer training courses
An opportunity is looming in                         specifically to bipolar carers and their
Carmarthenshire for people                           families.
affected by Brain Injury.                            The course adopts a dual management
A group of dedicated professionals and               strategy where mutual cooperation,
carers have come together to investigate             respect and trust figure highly between
the possi bility of creating a branch of the         carer and sufferer.
national charity HEADWAY in the county.              It is designed to give carers increased
The Charity offers support to people with            knowledge, infor mation and suggestions to
brain injury, their families and carers.             enable them to work mor e efficiently with
                                                     their sufferers and to help prevent
A public meeting is planned on the 21st              lengthy hospital stays.
of September at the Carmarthen Indoor                For more information contact 01873
Bowling Club on Picton Terrace                       856314.
Carmarthen (SA31 1BS).
The meeting will be in the evening at 7.00           Mental Health Carers Advocacy
p.m. and it is hoped that people will turn up                     Carmarthenshire
to support the development.                          Are you a relative, partner or friend
If you are affected by brain injury, or              who provides care for someone with a
if you know someone who is, please                   mental illness? Are you feeling isolated?
support this meeting - you can help to               Overwhel med? Unsure wher e to turn?
make a difference.                                   Advocacy can help you by supporting you
To find out more about HEADWAY you                   in a crisis; listening to you and making sur e
can visit                         that others listen too; helping you to
                                                     express your personal views and concerns.
                                                     If you would like to talk over your
Our Carers Groups meet monthly to offer              concer ns in confi dence, or woul d like
mutual support and information to people             further infor mation please phone Lynn
who are caring for someone with mental               Howells on 07825 795170 or email:
Carmarthen Carers Group:
6.30pm – 8.00pm 1st Wed. of the mon th:              Your contributions to the newsletter would
Llanelli Carers Group:                               be very welcome. Do you have any ideas,
5.30pm – 7.30pm 2nd Mon. of the mon th:
                                                     views, articles or suggestions for the next
Ammanford Carers Group:
                                                     edition of the Carers News? If so, please
6.00pm – 7pm 2nd Mon. of the mon th:
                                                     contact the Carers Project on 01267
You are very welcome to join us. Please
                                                     236436 or email
phone 01267 223365 for more information.

       Produced by the Carers’ Project, CAVS, The Mount, 18 Queens Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1JT
                                       Funded by Health & Social Care
News from the Family
Adviser Service

Carmarthenshire Road Trip                            Emergency Services ASD Card
It was great to meet so many parent                            Scheme
carers and people with a learning                  There is an Emergency Services ASD Card
disability when the Family Adviser                 Scheme that parent carers of people with
Service was out and abou t on our Road Trip        ASD should be aware of.
in Carmarthenshire. If you missed us and            The card is designed to alert emergency
would like some information, please get in         services to the fact tha t the holder has an
touch with Alli a t the Family Adviser             Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Each card has a
Service. Phone 01267 232256 ext 307.               unique reference number, stored on a central
email           database, managed by Autism Cymru, which
                                                   will hold details of each card holder and who
M encap's Family Adviser Service will be           to con tact in an emergency.
hosting a Housing Event in the Autumn, to
provide information on Housing Options for         People with au tism have a common set of
people with a Learning Disability in               characteristics known as the Triad of
Carmarthenshire. Speakers from different           Impairments which means they have
providers will be talking about the types of       difficulties with social and emotional
choices possible and how they work in              understanding, all aspects of communications
practice. For further details please contact       regardless of their language level and a lack
the Family Adviser Service on: 01267               of flexibility in thinking and behaviour. In
232256 Ext 307                                     stressful situations they may become very
                                                   anxious and react in a threa tening and
Do you care for a child or adult with a            aggressive way which can lead to po ten tial
learning disability? Have you ever                 conflict if their disability is unknown.
experienced a crisis?
                                                   The card enables the individual to better
Gwalia Housing Trust is looking to speak to
                                                   communicate his or her needs to the
parents/carers living in Carmarthenshire who
                                                   emergency services. For people with specific
have experienced a crisis situation, or are in
                                                   needs, which could be aggravated by some
danger of experiencing a future crisis.
                                                   aspects of the emergency services (e.g. the
The aim of the research is to iden tify
                                                   wailing sirens and bright lights of a vehicle
whether there are gaps in critical service
                                                   responding to an incident) carrying the card
provision and, if so, determine whether these
                                                   could ensure tha t they won't be
can be met with additional services or
                                                   unnecessarily distressed if ever they are in
changes to services currently provided.
                                                   contact with the emergency services.
If you have any queries about this research
or wish to discuss the opportunity to take         If you would like more information on the
part, please contact Rebecca Davies on:            card scheme, or an application form please
Direct Line 01792 488 267 Mobile 07814             contact the Family Adviser Service on
712 902 Email            01267 232 256

   Produced by the Carers’ Project, CAVS, The Mount, 18 Queens Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1JT
                                   Funded by Health & Social Care
Wellbeing Footcare                                      Direct Payments The Truth.
                                                    You may have hear d lots of differing
Wellbeing Footcare can provide a toenail
                                                    stories about Direct Payments; This
trimming service. Simple toenail cutting is
not usually available on the N HS - people are      article aims to give you some of the
expected to make their own arrangements to          facts. For more infor mation please use
care for their feet, which is not always easy       the contact details provided.
to do.                                              What is a Direct Payment? – Direc t
Our Foot Care Charges per session from              payments are local council payments for
1st April 2009                                      people who have been assessed as needing
Feet Medical Assessment         Free                help from social services, and who would like
First Toenail Cutting Treatment £16.00              to arrange and pay for their own care and
Includes the charge for your own set of             support services instead of receiving them
clippers and file                                   directly from the local council.
Toenail Cutting Thereafter            £6.00         What can they be used for? - The money is
                                                    for you to use to pay for the services and
 (NB: We do not carry out nail cutting in
                                                    equipment which will meet the needs the
people’s homes; requests for ‘home visits’ are
                                                    local council has assessed you as having. As a
referred to Social Services.)
                                                    general principle, councils should let you to
Current Clinic Venues                               choose how best to meet your assessed
*Caemaen Day and Luncheon Club, Coleshill           needs as long as they are sa tisfied that
Terrace, Llanelli                                   agreed support arrangemen ts are being met.
*Coleshill Disability Social Centre, Coleshill
                                                    There are support organisations that are
Terrace, Llanelli
                                                    able to give help and advice to people
*Plas y Mor Integra ted Housing and Day
                                                    wanting to receive a Direct Payment;
Club, Burry Port
                                                    within Carmarthenshire this is done by The
*The Memorial Hall, Llandybie
                                                    Rowan Organisation. The Organisation also
*Cwmamman Day and Luncheon Club, Garnant
                                                    works within Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion,
*Gwendraeth Day Centre, Pontya tes
                                                    and currently supports well over 500 people.
*The Black Mountain Centre, Brynaman
*Maes Elfryn Sheltered Housing/Luncheon             Direct Payments, do no t suit everyone, but
Club, Llandeilo                                     when it is the right choice for someone, it
We can also provide the following service:          can make a vast difference to a persons life,
footwashing/creaming and hand leg and foot          and because of this, Carmarthenshire County
massage.                                            Council are very keen to support the grow th
For more information, or to book your               of such a useful and empowering service.
first appointment at one of the above               For more information on Direct Payments,
venues please contact our main office on            contact   the   Rowan Organisation    on
01554 744896. Wellbeing Regeneration is             Freephone 0800 783 1755 or for welsh
a ‘not for profit’ enterprise.                      speakers – rhadffon 0800 783 1755. Or
Every care is taken in compiling this newsletter    you can e-mail the Organisation on
and responsibility cannot be taken for any action, visit the website at
arising from information given from these pages, or contact CCC

     Produced by the Carers’ Project, CAVS, The Mount, 18 Queens Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1JT
                                     Funded by Health & Social Care
  Caring for yourself
When you ar e taking car e of somebody you
also need to think about caring for
           How to Get Help
                                                     Left to ri ght : Hyw el Francis MP, Imelda Redmond,
Have you had a carers assessment? If                  Professor Luke Clements, Lord Pendry, Baroness
you look after a friend or relative who                         Pi tkeathley, Malcolm Wicks MP.
could not manage without your help, the             Professor Luke Clemen ts joined a gathering
law says you have a right to an assessment.         in Westminster to celebra te the fifth
                                                    anniversary of the passing of the Carers
A carers assessment enables you, as a
                                                    (Equal Opportunities) Act. The Ac t promo ted
carer, to discuss with social services what
                                                    the rights of the 6 million people who care
help you need with caring. It should look at
                                                    for a friend or family member.
the help you need to maintain your own
health, and to balance caring with other            Luke Clements spoke abou t the Ac t and the
aspects of your life. Social services use the       impact it has had on carers lives. He also
                                                    spoke about two o ther key pieces of
assessment to decide what help to provide.
                                                    legislation, the Carers and Disabled Children
Carmarthenshire Social Care & Housing               Act (2000) and Carers Ac t (1995), which
Department has produced a leaflet ‘Are you          were introduced to Parliament by Lord Tom
looking after someone…?’ This tells you what        Pendry and Malcolm Wicks MP. Together with
help and support you may be able to receive as      Dr. Hywel Francis MP., sponsor of t he Ac t,
a carer and how to ask for an assessmen t. If       they also attended the event.
you would like a copy, please phone 01267
                                                    Professor Clemen ts described the
236436 or 01267 228925
                                                    "extraordinary effort" that had gone into
                                                    these Ac ts, and how they had shaped
                                                    society's percep tion of carers, "breaking the
 Carers Wales July Newsletter, pictures             mould" and bringing carers' rights into the
 Professor Luke Clement, leading community          mainsteam.
 care lawyer, speaking with carers, people          The third edition of Professor Clements'
 from car ers' organisations and MPs.               book "Carers and their rights: the law
                                                    relating to carers", published by Carers
                                                    UK contains several new updates, including
                                                    references to the Equality Bill, currently
                                                    being debated in Parliament, which is likely to
                                                    have a significant impact on policies and the
                                                    delivery of services for carers.
 Carers in Carmarthenshire gave glowing             Copies of Carers and their rights: the law
 reports after receiving training from Luke         relating to carers by Professor Clemen ts
 Clement on ‘Carers and their Rights’, held         cost £10 and can be ordered from
 to celebrate Carers Rights Day last       where you
 December in Llanelli and Nantgaredig.              can also download it for free

      Produced by the Carers’ Project, CAVS, The Mount, 18 Queens Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1JT
                                      Funded by Health & Social Care

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