We're proud to support the Somerset Carers Service, a free service which provides much-needed support to unpaid carers in Somerset.
We host regular online support groups for unpaid carers and recruit volunteers to help out at face-to-face support groups across the county.
Free online meet ups
Our online support groups are open to all unpaid carers in Somerset. We get together for a conversation about how things are going. It’s a friendly, informal space - there’s no agenda, but plenty of time for carers to talk about the things that matter and share information and experiences. Members of the Spark Somerset and Somerset Carers Service teams are always on hand for a chat and to answer any questions too.
You can find out more and register here.
Volunteer at your local carers support group
Somerset Carers Service support groups give carers an opportunity to take a much-needed break from caring, meet other carers, and get practical advice and support.
Becoming a Carers Group Volunteer is a great opportunity to spend time with some fantastic people who spend much of their time caring for others. Whilst caring can be very rewarding, it can also be overwhelming at times, and by giving just a couple of hours of your time each month, you could help provide the vital support that carers need.
The groups are lead by fully-trained Carers Agents, but they need a little help to ensure the sessions run smoothly. You could help with a variety of tasks, from meeting and greeting and serving refreshments, to chatting with attendees and supporting the group leader.
Face-to-face groups are currently on hold, but we are still recruiting so that we're ready for when they are able to resume. You can find out more and sign up here.
"It’s amazing how just seeing other people and talking helps you feel less isolated"
Pam, a full time carer and single parent, regularly attends our online support groups. She described how they help her.
"I am a single mum and provide 24/7 care for my 30-year-old daughter who has autism as well as other challenging and complex physical and mental health problems. We receive 1:1 support for 24 hours a week from Adult Social Care, so that my daughter can attend a day centre and activity centres for three days a week. This gives my daughter somewhere to go and I get a bit of ‘me time’ to volunteer in the local primary school, help with a newly formed Stoma group and attend a new community café.
At the group we chat about things that have gone well or are not going well, it makes you realise you are not alone. We share what we have been doing and Spark give us pointers to websites and links to get additional support. Everyone is so helpful. We have had guest speakers on varying topics and can ask for help on anything. You never feel intimidated or that what you are asking is silly.
I have met lots of new people - it’s amazing how just seeing other people and talking helps you feel less isolated. Joining this group has also opened doors for me to join other groups led by Spark Somerset and other organisations."