I am planning a Mindfulness fundraising day at Breathe Kidderminster later this year to raise funds for the Worcestershire Association of Carers. This fantastic charity work tirelessly to support carers all across the county. I attended their annual conference this week to learn more about the work of this local charity and most importantly to meet the people whose hard work makes it all possible.
The conference was both informative and incredibly moving. Speakers included Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Worcester, Clare Marchant, Chief Executive, Worcester County Council and Sarah Dugan, Chief Executive, Worcester Health and Care Trust. All three speakers explored a different perspective of caring but the resounding theme for me was that carers save the country millions of pounds while caring can have rewards but also immeasurable costs for those involved.
I was shocked to learn that "Carers save the UK economy 119 billion every year" ( State of Caring report 2015) and even more shocked to learn that this figure is higher than the total spend on the National Health Service. The financial impact of carers on the national and local economy was far beyond my appreciation.
More significant than any of these figures was the opportunity to hear first hand personal experiences of caring. 'The Value of Caring' film launch clearly portrayed the reality of caring and without making any efforts to pull at the heart strings it still bought tears to the eyes of many in the room. I will hopefully be able to share this film with you on a later blog post.
If you are caring for a relative or friend, even if you do not consider yourself as a carer, please do take a look at the Worcestershire Association of Carers as they may well have something to offer you and your family. I will let you know when I have planned the fundraising day where I will be offering one-to-one sessions of Mindfulness Meditation at my Kidderminster treatment room. You can learn more about mindfulness here.