West Norfolk Carers chose Transforming Lives as its focus for Carers’ Rights Day this year and used its annual meeting on Wednesday to promote the scheme.
Transforming Lives is a £200,000 Lottery-funded project which aims to attract young adult carers in the 16 to 35 age range and improve their lives by tailoring a development programme to suit the individual needs of those registered on the project.
This may take the form of emotional support and engagement in enjoyable recreational activities.
West Norfolk Carers chief executive, Jane Evans, said: “We have fulfilled a vital role for carers over many years.
“Carers need guidance and support to help cope with the many stresses and strains that caring for family members can bring.
“We have been providing support very well for older carers and young carers but there is a young adult carers age group that has not often accessed our services. We realised that the under 35s were hard to reach and warranted some special attention. That was the reason for our Lottery bid.”
Newly-appointed Transforming Lives project officer, Roger Partridge, said: “We can offer the under-35s lots of advice and we can work with them to establish their own personal development programme.
“This may take the form of training or workshops, for example in confidence building and stress management, but it may also be giving the carer some valuable ‘me’ time, enjoyment time, time to pursue something for themselves.
“This may be anything from yoga, relaxation classes or fitness activity to music, drama or cooking and nutrition classes. The programmes provided will depend on needs expressed by the carers.”
He appealed for carers in this age group to come forward: “I do hope carers in the 16 to 35 age range will contact us. We want to help them. We can meet one-to- one and offer personalised support.”
Transforming Lives is an addition to an extensive range of existing services at West Norfolk Carers. Groups run in Lynn, Swaffham, Downham and Hunstanton and Young Carers Groups exist for carers as young as seven up to 18.
A GP service covers all the GP surgeries in West Norfolk and attends the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, too.