Service offers carers ‘light at end of tunnel’

CARER KELLY LANGLEY -- 'now we really have something to look forward to' -- DISPIC NHUD12-0013-1
CARER KELLY LANGLEY -- 'now we really have something to look forward to' -- DISPIC NHUD12-0013-1

KIND-hearted carers of friends and loved ones in Hucknall are being urged to use a support scheme that offers “light at the end of the tunnel”.

A new service has been launched by Notts County Council that offers unpaid carers a one-off payment — dubbed a ‘personal budget’ — to help them look after their own health and wellbeing.

Now Kelly Langley, of Hucknall, who cares for her ill partner, as well as their three young children who are aged seven, four and one, has publicly backed the initiative.

Kelly (30) benefited from a pilot of the scheme which, once fully rolled out, will see eligible carers given a handout of up to £200.

The money can be spent on anything from the cost of a holiday or weekend break to pursuing hobbies or buying equipment that will help with day-to-day caring.

Kelly, whose partner has a personality disorder, underwent an assessment to see whether she was entitled to a ‘personal budget’ payment.

As part of this, she was also assessed to find out if she and her family would benefit from extra help.

Kelly was given a grant of £60 to help to pay towards driving lessons. She was also even given an extra one-off payment of £300 to help towards the cost of a family break to a Butlin’s holiday camp.

She has now been referred to local carer groups where she can meet other people enduring similar lifestyles.

Kelly said: “Before, I had no-one to talk to about the stresses and strains I was going through. All the support was for my partner.

“Now we really have something to look forward to and we will be able to get out more as a family.

“I’ll also be able to get in touch with other carers who are going through the same problems. Mental health is something that many people don’t understand, so it would be good to speak to others in a similar situation.”

Kelly gave up her job working in a call centre to care for her partner, who is 35. She added: “People shouldn’t think they’re on their own. There is support for carers. This has been a fantastic help.

“I feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

Coun Kevin Rostance (Con), of Hucknall, who is Cabinet member for adult social care and health at Notts County Council, said: “Caring for a loved one every day can be challenging, so it’s important that we look after local carers to make sure they can continue with their vital role.

“Carers will also have choice about how they spend the money — whether it be to give them a much-needed break or to get involved in a hobby.

“I would urge local carers to get in touch with us to find out what support they may be entitled to.”

To be eligible for a ‘personal budget’ payment, carers must live in Nottinghamshire and look after a person who also lives in the county.

They will need to undergo an assessment to see if they are entitled to the cash and other support.

To register an interest, ring 08449 80 80 80 or visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/carersfor more information.