A new service has been launched to help connect unpaid carers.
Central Bedfordshire Council has teamed up with digital provider Mobilise for a three-month pilot of the scheme.
It will use social media and digital marketing to help to find and identify unpaid carers, connecting them immediately with others in a similar position, and providing relevant, timely support.
The service is free.
Mobilise will work in partnership with the existing carers support services provided by Carers in Bedfordshire and Central Bedfordshire Council, offering a range of online support, from regular contact through emails and guide to caring e-course to ‘virtual cuppas’ and even individual support calls – seven days a week.
Around 30,000 people in Central Beds – that’s around 10 per cent of the local population – are thought to be unpaid carers.
Councillor Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Adult Social Care at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “Many residents who provide unpaid care do not see themselves as carers because they are simply doing what they can for a relative, a friend or a neighbour who needs them because of their disability or illness.
“By connecting carers, we can ensure they are supported, particularly during the difficult winter months, and can continue to provide their crucial care.”
Suzanne Bourne, Co-founder and Head of Carer Support at Mobilise, said: “There are carers out there who may need advice who are not currently accessing it. Creating a Mobilise carer peer support network in Central Bedfordshire will see an improvement in their wellbeing. Carers are less likely to reach breakdown and require emergency assistance.”
The Mobilise service can be accessed online here.