Casting a spotlight on Carer’s Week

To celebrate Carer’s Week, we’re casting a spotlight on some amazing groups from Northern Ireland who support carers through the ups and downs of looking after a loved one. All of these groups are making a real difference to carers and their families, and we want to thank National Lottery players for making this work possible.

The Escapists formed in 2008 to improve the lives of women carers of all ages. The 12 women who formed it were carers themselves, and had just completed a personal development course and wanted to share what they’d learnt.

Caring for a loved one can be a full time job and it‘s hard sometimes for carers to take a break from their responsibilities. The Escapists offer that chance, giving the women some time away – even for just a couple of hours a week.

“Our aim is to support parents of children and adults with learning difficulties or to any unpaid carer with a heavy caring burden. We’re committed to improving the holistic well-being of carers and their loved ones, and supporting carers’ continued personal development,” explains Clare McGovern from the Escapists. “We give carers a chance to relax and meet other carers who are in the same boat. We understand each other! It gives the carers time to chat and have fun and have a cuppa.”

ADHD Co Down Parent Support Group offer a network of support for the parents and carers of children and young adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).

People with ADHD can have a lot of energy and find it difficult to concentrate. They might also find it hard to control their impulses. Because of this, kids with ADHD might get in more trouble at school than other children.

But the condition is much more than just “bad behaviour”. In fact, that misconception can make life even more difficult for kids with ADHD and their families.

The Parent Support Group started when a group of parents came together to help each other and their children. The group meets once a month and work together to forge new friendships and build resilient support networks.

They provide valuable support and assistance to carers of children with ADHD, and are a great example of people using their strengths to help their community.

Morquio is a rare disease affecting the way a person’s body produces certain enzymes. The lack of these enzymes severely effects people’s physical abilities, including skeletal abnormalities, difficulty breathing, and hearing and vision loss.

The Society for Mucopolysaccharide Diseases is using money raised by National Lottery players to bring adults with Morquio and their carers together to hang out, have fun, and share their experiences of the disease.

It can be lonely when you or a loved one have a disease that most people have never even heard of, let alone understand. By bringing together carers and patients alike, the Society will combat some of that isolation and help build a sense of community.

These are just a handful of groups doing incredible work for carers and their loved ones throughout Northern Ireland.

Thanks to National Lottery players, they’re able to give carers much-needed support, whether  in the form of advice, companionship, or just a cup of cuppa and a listening ear.

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