Swindon Carers Centre has been awarded £40,000 to employ a specialist mental health practitioner.
The charity says unpaid carers it supports are reporting increased anxiety, stress, depression and loneliness following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The grant, from RUHX (the official charity of the Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) and NHS Charities Together, is funding an adult support practitioner for two years.
Stuart Ilbury, Head of Service Delivery for Adult and Older Carers at Swindon Carers Centre, said: “We’re really pleased to have been awarded funding from RUHX and NHS Charities Together to support unpaid carers who are experiencing difficulties with their mental health.
“The pandemic affected unpaid carers in many ways, including their mental health, and the impact is still being felt. Carers are calling us because of their increased anxiety, stress, depression, isolation or loneliness. Some are near crisis point and feel like they can’t go on.They also feel guilty for thinking this.
“Our new practitioner will be leading on our Carers Support Line to help carers with concerns or issues they have and identifying their mental health needs and what support may be needed, including mental health coping strategies.
“We are not a counselling or crisis service, but we do work closely with other organisations in Swindon who provide this and we signpost our carers to these where appropriate.”
Swindon Carers Centre supports the thousands of unpaid carers in Swindon so they can look after their own wellbeing and live a healthy, fulfilling life alongside their caring role.
The charity has been supporting unpaid carers in Swindon for 25 years and its services include one-to-one support, welfare and benefit advice and an Emergency Card Scheme. It also holds activities and social events so carers can have a break and meet other carers for peer support.
An unpaid carer is anyone who cares - unpaid - for a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of an illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, and cannot cope without their support.
Swindon Carers Centre can be contacted on 01793 531133 and via https://www.swindoncarers.org.uk/