CHARD Carers’ Support Group celebrated Carers Week a bit late this year having their annual lunch on Monday, June 17.

As usual, members of Chard Carers and their cared for were out in numbers, as were members and cared for from the Ilminster Group and also leaders from the Chard Watch group who, very broadly speaking as far as their carers are concerned, work on progressing peer friendships and preventing loneliness – something carers can often experience.

The group will be liaising with them in the near future to see how the two groups can help one another.

The carers group also welcomed the new Mayor of Chard, Victoria Bates, who spent some time talking individually to carers and cared for, both about their own lives and answering questions about future plans for Chard.

There was then a vigorous and animated exchange of news and views between the groups and individuals while we sat down to a substantial and delicious two-course lunch provided by Wendy’s Kitchen.

(Image: Contributed)

Village Agent, Pete Coller, popped in to add a bit of support, as did Cath Holloway, the Carers Support Development Worker from Community Council for Somerset.

Cath is a frequent visitor and took the opportunity to talk to carers and cared for but the day was more of a social event and about having a bit of R&R rather than discussing individual problems; she also gave out some small goodie bags to carers on their way out.

After lunch, they were entertained by Kate and Ian who gave us some music from the late 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s.

They got feet moving and some ‘dad dancing’ was observed as well as some more formal routines from a few of the couples.

Group leader Pat Galpin said: “The group offers the opportunity for unpaid carers to meet other carers in a relaxed atmosphere.

“We have been around for 18 years now, offering support, advice, and a listening ear.

“We like to think we are a forum for the exchange of ideas and information about specific problems encountered by carers and we can offer advice or signpost carers to national and local resources.

“We are also a means of getting your voice heard as unpaid carers are the backbone of caring in the modern-day world.

“And when and if the worse happens, our ex-carers are our mainstay of support as many stay on as volunteers to help the newer carers coming through the system.”

The group meeting is back to normal in July, on the second Monday of the month, July 8, 10.30am-12.30pm in the hall behind English Martyrs Church, at the traffic lights in Chard.

If you would like any more information about the group, which welcomes unpaid carers in a social atmosphere and where you can make friends and get information about being an unpaid carer, contact Pat on 01460 220026 or Kate on 01460 394331, email or find us on Facebook.

Written by Chard Carers’ Support Group