Age Concern Birmingham runs Birmingham Carers Centre and on 21st December it will be moving to its new home at 198, Corporation Street.
The centre has been providing support to thousands of carers across Birmingham for the last three years. Many of these carers visit each year to get information, confidential advice from a support worker or simply enjoy a coffee and a chat with fellow carers.
There are over 98,000 carers in Birmingham and this number is growing. They range from carers looking after relatives in their homes to carers nursing friends through long term illness or mental health problems. Some of these carers are under 18 years old.
“Carers are sometimes overlooked as people who need support from time to time. They are caring people who are seen as strong and capable. Birmingham Carers Centre focuses on providing them with support; from accurate information to confidential advice or just a break with a coffee where they can share experiences,” said Iain Mackintosh, Director of Development.
He added, “Birmingham Carers Centre has proved very successful over the last three years with increasing numbers of carers dropping into the centre. We have always provided a telephone help line for carers to reach us, but they love coming to the centre. They have been telling us that a location that can be easily reached by public transport would make dropping in to see us easier, so we began planning a move earlier this year.”
“The new building will be great as it will have more space for a wide variety of activities from Tai Chi to arts and crafts,” said Jean Higgins who has been caring for her husband, John, for 5 years. “Just chatting with other carers and volunteers is invaluable, because they have often been through experiences I’m facing now and can tell me how they coped or give me some ideas on what might help my husband. It’s also great to know that there are staff here who can provide stacks of information on all sorts of things like benefits, professional care and training opportunities. They even have information on short breaks,”
Birmingham Carers Centre’s move from its previous location in Colmore Row has been planned to minimise any disruption to the service for its carers. “We are looking forward to seeing many more carers at this new exciting building, but we also have plans to expand our facilities further. Next year carers will also be able to meet our staff and chat with other carers in dedicated mini-centres within four of Birmingham City Council’s Community Care Centres,” explained Mr Mackintosh.
Carers wanting more information about Birmingham Carers Centre and the free support it provides to carers should contact the Carers’ helpline on 0121 675 8000.
- A carer is someone who spends a significant proportion of their life providing unpaid support to family or friends. This could be caring for children, partner, relative or friend who may be ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.
- Birmingham Carers Centre, the Carers Information and Advice service and the Information Service for Carers Short Breaks is managed by Age Concern Birmingham. These Initiaives are supported by Birmingham City Council Adults and Communities.