People in Peterborough are being asked to give a little time and make a big difference to disabled children and their families.
Share the Care Week (16-22 March) is an annual campaign to encourage more people to offer short breaks to a disabled child and give their parents a regular break from caring.
Peterborough City Council’s Family Link scheme is backing the campaign, run by the Short Breaks Network, and says there is a real need for more short break carers in the area.
People can find out more about being a short break carer at an information stand in the foyer of Peterborough City Hospital, Bretton Gate, from today (16 March) until Thursday (19 March) between 10am and 4pm. On Friday (20 March) the information stand will move to the City Care Centre on Thorpe Road, Peterborough, between 10am and 4pm.
Claire Watts, family link co-ordinator for the city council, said: “We have several families currently offering Link care in Peterborough and would like to double this by the end of the year.
“Children involved have a variety of disabilities and can benefit from spending time with a carer, meeting new people and trying new things and all in a safe and caring environment.
“At the same time, parents get a much-needed break. Caring for a disabled child is incredibly rewarding but sometimes demanding. Short breaks can have such a positive impact on the whole family.”
Parents of children who are helped by the scheme say it makes a real difference and it is reassuring to know their children are in safe hands.
Link carers need to be 21 or over, be able to make a regular commitment to the scheme and have room in their home to look after a child.
There are no specific qualifications required but personal qualities such as patience, understanding, enthusiasm and commitment are all important. Having a good sense of humour also helps. Ideally, people would need to have some experience of caring for children with disabilities.
All carers receive a high level of support and ongoing training with regular visits from the Family Link Co-ordinator.