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Connecting Carers charity in Dingwall launches emotional wellbeing service to fulfil need identified during coronavirus crisis

By Hector MacKenzie

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Mary Cook.
Mary Cook.

A GREATER need identified by carers for emotional support during the coronavirus pandemic has inspired the launch of a new service by a Dingwall-based charity.

Connecting Carers has a wellbeing service to offer a range of help including one-to-one listening support; peer-support groups; workshops; events and additional funding opportunities.

All of the wellbeing officers have been trained in mental health first aid and decider skills to listen and identify specific needs among carers.

Mary Cook, the head of the service, said: “We recognised during the pandemic we needed a service that will truly listen to carers across Highland and would endeavour to make each individual more

resilient and empowered to cope with their caring role. We are delighted to be developing this new wellbeing service in partnership with carers.

“All carers will be able to access our four steps to one-to-one listening support via our carer support line, Carers Call Highland, wellbeing service and counselling service."

Funding was sourced from the National Lottery fund.

The service will offer solutions via an individualised wellbeing empowerment plan increasing confidence, reducing isolation and supporting the self-management of the caring role to enable carers and young carers to have a life alongside caring.

Mrs Cook added: “Carers Call Highland is our new telephone listening service for carers who will be able to chat on a weekly basis with a volunteer, when carers may wish to talk about their caring role, hobbies, favourite author, it is really up to you. Our support will be person-centred, aimed with your individual needs in mind and incorporating our stepped approach to listening.”

Roisin Connolly, the charity’s CEO, added: “The new wellbeing service for all carers across Highland has been funded by the Big Lottery Community Fund and the Highland Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund. This service aims to support Carers to improve their wellbeing by providing a unique listening service that bridges our existing support and offers the opportunity of a weekly call by a Carers Call Highland Volunteer. It is my hope that the wellbeing service and the four steps to listening make a significant difference to the wellbeing of carers that use the service.”

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