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Award winning "A Carers’ Journey" to be featured on the AoC best practice webinar

23rd Jun 2021

Oxfordshire Adult Learning (OAL), a Faculty of Abingdon and Witney College, is extremely proud to have won this fantastic award. It represents a great programme designed to support the learners’ needs.

It was developed in partnership with Action for Carers, who told OAL what unpaid carers had said they need to support them in their role. Helping the carer to acquire the skills necessary to cope is likely to reduce the need for early intervention. For example, learning everyday first aid and practical manual handling skills will reduce the risk of injury. It enables the unpaid carer to gain confidence in their role. Further support is provided with a series of courses that help the carer to look after their own physical and mental wellbeing: Yoga; Mindfulness; Art for Relaxation; Self-Massage; Creative Writing; You Matter Too! A course is also offered to support the carer when sadly their journey has come to an end, either because their loved one has moved into full-time residential care or has passed away.

Every year more than two million people in the UK become unpaid carers. One in eight adults in the UK is an unpaid carer, although, because many people are looking after family, friends or relatives, they don’t necessarily recognise themselves as a carer. At the time of the last Census in 2011, over 61,000 people in the county said they provided some level of informal care to a relative or friend. Whilst no one likes to be labelled, acknowledging their role as a carer enables them to get the information, advice and support that they need.

'We are so proud to be a part of this fantastic achievement. Good partnership is always key and I think that shone through this whole project. The commitment OAL has had given to the carers in Oxfordshire has been significant, and so valuable to these people in our society that are so often overlooked leaving them feeling isolated and hidden. This is also such a great opportunity to get our message and model out into Oxfordshire and beyond, excited to be taking this forward together.' Kay Francis, Head of Carers Support Services

'I am immensely proud of the incredible partnership between Action for Carers and OAL and I am in awe of the invaluable service Action for Carers deliver in the community. Here’s to many more successful years of working together.' Heidi Jordison, Head of Faculty OAL

Having launched this programme with Action for Carers in January 2018, I am very proud of what we have achieved to date. It has demonstrated the huge benefits of partnership working and has helped us to reach unpaid carers who deserve this support. It offers them a chance to take some time out and do something for themselves. It is fitting to call the programme 'a journey' as that is exactly what it is when we become a carer for a loved one. It is challenging, isolating and all absorbing, so this programme can represent a real lifeline for carers and help them to manage their role day to day. Sue Funge, Curriculum Manager, OAL

We are honoured to have been asked to share our experience with other FE colleges and local care services in a Best Practice Webinar on the 29 June at 3pm. To book tickets visit https://www.aoc-services.co.uk...