CHARD Carers Support Group had their meeting on April 3. This happened because the normal meeting date would fall on Easter Monday.

The group met on April 3 with ‘no fixed agenda’, no invited speakers and no ‘theme,’ it was just a social get morning with some welcome tea and cake and a lot of chat!

These purely social meetings are as important as the meetings with invited speakers, allowing members to catch up on friendships and the gossip as well as having the time to talk, either confidentially or with the group, about some of the problems they might be experiencing and, indeed, some of the challenges they have overcome and the funny experiences that their caring roles can bring.

General subjects raised included advice given on Power of Attorney, the vagaries on online orders in the attempt to discover where a parcel had been delivered when the photograph was of a box perched on a pile of wood in a wheelbarrow (wheelbarrow never identified, though it looked to be a very nice one), and thoughts on a future speaker from the NHS about hydration in the cared for.

This is where the experiences of those that have ‘been there and done that’ are helpful to carers who might be facing challenges for the first time. Personal experience is key but certainly the subject of dementia in Somerset is being addressed, with arrangements in train for those newly diagnosed to be provided with information of what they might expect, and when, from the various bodies involved in dementia care; plus there is the opportunity for carers of people with dementia to be offered some training in how to cope and how to look after their own health.

This seems to be working well and is beginning to cascade to other areas of illness and hopefully will help prevent carers and cared for feeling abandoned by the system or falling through the cracks.

A spokesperson confirmed the next meetint dates and said: "On April 13 we will be will be meeting for a lunch out and on April 18 members, Pat and Kate will be joining the Mayor for afternoon tea, which promises to be an informal discussion to look at linking up local organisations and see what support can be offered in promoting community groups."

On Sunday April 23, St George’s Day, members of the group will be joining in the St George’s Day Parade and Civic Service, leaving the Guildhall at 3pm and parading to St Mary’s Church. We have T-shirts but, being April, may be wearing them outside of our sweaters

The next meeting, again a rescheduled date because of bank holidays, will be Monday April 24, at 10.30 am-12.30pm at the hall behind English Martyrs Church at the traffic lights in Chard. There is a car park and easy access.

Please do ring Pat on 01460 220026 or Kate on 01469 394331 for information, contact us at or on Facebook Chard Carers Support Group.