The BIG Carers’ Tea Break 2016 campaign launches next week!

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The BIG Carer’s Tea Break, a summer 2016 campaign led by mental health carers and supported by Hafal, Bipolar UK, Diverse Cymru, Carers Wales and Crossroads Care Mid & West Wales, will be launched at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay on Thursday 12 May 2016, 2-5pm.

Albert Heaney, Director of Social Services and Integration, Welsh Government, will formally launch the campaign with BIG Carers’ Tea Break panel members at 2pm in the Preseli Room.

Guests will be able to:

  • hear from The BIG Carers’ Tea Break panel members about the aims of the campaign
  • hear from the partner organisations about why they are supporting the campaign
  • enjoy afternoon tea while meeting mental health carers and professionals from across Wales.

The campaign will see mental health carers in each of the 22 counties come together for a BIG Carers’ Tea Break.

Carers across Wales will be taking time out to meet up and enjoy afternoon tea, have a chat and provide mutual support to fellow carers. They will also have the opportunity to sample some well-being and pamper activities, get tips at a carers’ information marketplace, and receive some advice and support on carers’ assessments.

These events will be at the core of our wider BIG Carers’ Tea Break campaign which will:-

  • Make carers’ collective voice heard so that carers have their say at a local and national level on how mental health services are planned and delivered
  • Empower individual carers to play a full part in planning the care and treatment of the person they care for
  • Inform carers across Wales by providing them with high-quality, up-to-date information on benefits, treatments and local services
  • Ensure carers get excellent carer’s assessments under the new Social Services and Well-being Act by delivering key advice and support to carers.

The carer-led campaign is supported by Welsh mental health charity Hafal in partnership with Bipolar UK, Diverse Cymru, Carers Wales and Crossroads Mid & West Wales.

Hafal’s Chief Executive Alun Thomas said: “We’re looking forward to some great fun events this summer. Carers across Wales will have the opportunity to get together, enjoy afternoon tea and be pampered for a change!

“But we want to change the world as well. This campaign will give carers the opportunity to get together and have their say on the way services are planned and delivered. Together we’ll have a greater voice.”

Suzanne Hudson, Chief Executive of Bipolar UK, said: “Bipolar UK are proud to be part of the BIG Carers’ Tea Break and it’s a great opportunity to let carers know about the new Social Services and Well-being Act. This event is a great way to empower carers, many of whom care for individuals with mental health conditions.”

Suzanne Duval, Director of Operations at Diverse Cymru, said: “We know that Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) carers face extra barriers when accessing support for themselves and the person they care for, and we want to make sure that everyone, regardless of background, is aware of the potential support available to them.”

Carers Wales Director Keith Bowen said: “It’s essential that carers have all the information they need to provide the most effective support for the person they care for – and to look after themselves. This campaign aims to reach thousands of mental health carers across Wales with key information and tips. At each event we’ll have an information ‘marketplace’ so that carers can get advice on benefits and carers’ rights, for example.”

Roger Gant, Chief Executive of Crossroads Mid & West Wales, said: “Of course, as a provider of support for carers what we really want are excellent mental health services for the people they care for and among other things, that means proper respite breaks for their carers. That’s why we are getting together to campaign for a better deal for people in Wales with a mental illness. We’ll be inviting health professionals, service commissioners and policy makers to come to tea and hear what we have to say!”