Local carers who support family members living with dementia, attended a new service this week provided by Redcar & Cleveland Mind.

The new parallel support sessions offer a safe and supportive place where both the cared for person and the carer can take part in separate activities.

The charity hopes to give carers an opportunity to connect with peers and share their stories, learn from each other, and build up a support network.

Mike Ruiter, Redcar & Cleveland Mind, interim operations director said: “Dementia Carers deliver vital support for their loved ones, but they have little time to themselves and opportunities to connect with others, which is something we want to address because time for yourself and a feeling of connection to others are really important to our mental health.

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“Listening to feedback from carers we were aware of the need for a service to support them, but they said they weren't able to leave their family member on their own, so that was something we needed to resolve.”

The charity has solved that problem by teaming up with Meadowvale Homecare and provide parallel activities for the persons with dementia and their carers, leaving the carers free to engage with their peers in the knowledge that their loved ones are being looked after and enjoying a group activity.

The first event proved that there is a need in the community for activities like this.

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Redcar & Cleveland Mind will provide a session each week. The locations will rotate between Skelton, Redcar and Grangetown, to offer the service nearer to where people live. More details can be found by contacting Redcar & Cleveland Mind on 01642-296052.

This initiative is supported through funding by NHS North of England Commissioning Group, distributed by AgeUK Teesside.