A local social enterprise in Brixton is offering free access to holistic therapies, sports, activities and workshops to improve the wellbeing of carers in Lambeth.
Carers4Carers was awarded £48,596 from People’s Health Trust with money raised by The Health Lottery in London East to provide a peer-to-peer social therapy space for carers to meet others and unwind.
Paula Bryan, the co-founder of Carers4Carers, used to care for her mum and now takes joy in seeing the project helping others.
“We focus on the physical, emotional and financial wellbeing of carers and offer a personalised service which has led to many of our members referring to us as their extended family.
“The project is important as carers spend so much of their time prioritising the time of others and ignoring their own needs. This can lead to a deterioration in their physical and emotional health, as well as them feeling lonely and isolated.
“It can be a very difficult and emotional time being a carer, so respite and support is so important.”
The project brings carers together by funding activities they might not normally be able to afford, from sound therapy, massages, yoga, boxing and aerobics to art and knitting lessons. The project also enables carers to learn and share skills and develop friendships over a cup of tea.
Since the project started in 2018, Carers4Carers have supported 324 carers and 73 family members in the borough.
Through the project, members have experienced an increase in confidence and greater inclusion in their local community.
Paulina, a project member, said:
“Carers4Carers is a lifeline for me as I care for two people in my family. It’s a place to come and relax, meet other carers, share activities, have fun and laugh together.”
Money raised by Health Lottery London East is continuing to support local projects and has raised nearly £8m in funds to support 272 projects in the region, which includes parts of London and Kent.
Martin Ellice, Joint Managing Director of The Health Lottery, said:
“Physical and mental wellbeing is so important for carers. We’re delighted to support Carers4Carers as they make such a difference in helping carers in the local area.”
To date, over £110 million has been raised through The Health Lottery, supporting local charities across England, Scotland and Wales.