Many Somerset residents who provide unpaid care do not access the support available to them. This could be because they do not see themselves as carers because they are simply supporting a relative, friend or neighbour who needs them to due to disability or illness.
Somerset County Council has recently launched a three-month pilot project with Mobilise website, an online business created by carers to help unpaid carers get the support they are entitled to. The new pilot will use social media and digital marketing to help find and identify ‘unpaid carers’ in Somerset and link them with the support that is available to them.
Mobilise will work directly with the existing commissioned Carers Service, including the Community Council for Somerset Agents, to ensure that targeted information will be given to carers and their families.
This will include a range of online support, from website guides, regular contact through emails, guide to caring e-course to ‘virtual cuppas’ and even individual support calls – seven days a week.
Cllr Heather Shearer, Somerset County Council Executive Lead Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We know there are lots of people giving great support as carers day in day out. We want to identify more carers and provide additional support, so they can continue to provide their crucial care and enjoy positive lives. Mobilise is a great way for people to connect and receive support directly from others who can relate to their similar and shared experiences.”
Suzanne Bourne, Co-founder and Head of Carer Support at Mobilise, stated: “There are carers out there who may need advice who are not currently accessing it. Creating a Mobilise carer peer support network in Somerset will see an improvement in their wellbeing. Carers are less likely to reach a breaking point and require emergency assistance.”
The Mobilise service is free for residents of Somerset and can be accessed via the Mobilise website.