The event, which was held in partnership between New Malden and Worcester Park Primary Care Network, Kingston Hospital and Kingston Carers’ Network, featured a range of stalls with attendees invited to find out more about benefits they may be entitled to, how they can plan for the future and about simple steps they can take to stay healthy. There was also an opportunity for them to have a basic health check and to mingle with other local people with similar responsibilities.
Kingston GP, Nick Merrifield, said: “It was great to be involved in such a great evening. We were really happy with the turnout of this event which gave us the opportunity to talk to our local carers, but also to identify more in our community that we didn’t know about.
“It can be easy for carers to ignore their own health and wellbeing while looking after others, so it was a great opportunity for us to open up conversations about what they need and to encourage them to look after themselves too.”
It was fantastic to see a group with a shared sense of purpose working in an integrated way to support carers. Their passion to change the status quo was palpable, their clear aim to improve the health and wellbeing of carers.”Debbie Hustings, NHS England Unpaid Carers Lead
Laura Greene, Head of Volunteering and Community Partnerships at Kingston Hospital, said: “It was great to have the opportunity to work together for carers, at this event and always. It was privilege to be part of it and amongst such expert, compassionate company.
“It was really encouraging that the majority of those that attended felt that the event increased their confidence to prioritise their own health and wellbeing going forward. This is a great outcome and something we can build on.”
Diane White, Chief Executive of Kingston Carers’ Network, added: “What a fantastic event. Working in partnership like this means we can have a real impact on this often forgotten group, that carry out such an important role in our community.”
Debbie Hustings, NHS England Unpaid Carers Lead, attended the event. She said: “I was delighted to be invited along to this one stop shop for carers. It was fantastic to see a group with a shared sense of purpose working in an integrated way to support carers. Their passion to change the status quo was palpable, their clear aim to improve the health and wellbeing of carers.”
Free goody bags and dinner were provided on the evening. One resident said: “The food was wonderful. I didn’t realise so many services would be here and it was lovely to speak to people who recognise carers and really refreshing to be able to come out for the evening. It was also great to be able to get my blood pressure taken and to chat with a GP.”
Another attendee who is in his 60s and the sole carer for his wife with dementia, added: “It reminded me that I’m not alone and was such an uplifting evening.”