Deaf Carer and Befriender Service
A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support.
Anyone could be a carer – a 16-year-old girl looking after a parent with a disability, a 40-year-old man caring for his partner who has terminal cancer, or an 80-year-old woman looking after her husband who has dementia.
If that is you, we can support you:
- Information and Advice – Caring can lead to poverty if you have to give up work to care for your partner or family member. Our BSL Advice Helpline can assess whether you can claim Carer’s Allowance but there are many other benefits and credits that you may be able to get. Contact the BSL Advice Helpline via skype, facetime or oovoo to find out more. In addition, the helpline will be able to signpost you to:
- your local Social Services for a Carers Assessment,
- a local Carers Centre to provide you with respite,
- YOUchoose for a PA service,
- and any other information you might need to support you in your caring role.
- Carers Assessment and Advocacy – A carer’s assessment is a chance to discuss your needs with your local council. The assessment is free and your local council will use it to decide what support to give you. The Care Act 2014 aims to strengthen the voice of people who use services, and their carers, over the process of assessing, planning and safeguarding. Local authorities need to commission independent advocacy services to support people who may require it. deafPLUS provides an Independent Advocacy service and you can read more about it here.
- Health & Wellbeing – deafPLUS provides health & wellbeing activities at all it’s centres. For example, we organise social gatherings, activities, outings, bingo groups, and many more. Contact us to find out how we can support you.
- Getting a break – Being a carer can be hard work and you might need to take a break sometimes. Respite can mean different things to different carers, it can mean:
- getting more paid help at home – this could be via paid workers helping with care or getting more help with tasks around the home. deafPLUS can do this via our YOUchoose service.
- getting someone to keep the person you care for company whilst you go out – sitting and befriending services,
- doing something you enjoy,
- you, or the person you care for, taking part in activities outside the home.
Make sure you ask for a carer’s assessment as it looks at the support you need to carry on caring – this could include regular respite and breaks.
deafPLUS has successfully received funding from the Better Care Fund in Birmingham.
Our work will focus on D/deaf, Hard of Hearing and Visually Impairment Carers living in Birmingham. Our aim is to reduce the social isolation and improve the mental health of those Carers.
We are recruiting volunteers, who must have level 2 or above in BSL. All volunteers will undergo a full DBS check before starting in their role and ongoing safeguarding and deaf/disability awareness training.
These volunteers will provide befriending service to the carers living in Birmingham and undertake and support them to access various activities such as:
- Visiting shopping centres / supermarkets,
- Exploring different places in and around Birmingham,
- Meeting other people at clubs / centres / care homes / retirement homes,
- Support carers with appointments in GPs / Hospitals / Day Centres,
- Visit deafPLUS events in Birmingham.
- Art workshops
We asked the carers about what they thought about the service.
“Befriender is good with BSL and we can communicate. She learning new BSL all the times”
“Befriender goes with me to take buses to my local which is helpful. Without them I would not travel myself”
“When my partner goes to the day centre in Birmingham. Befriender meets me at home and feels ready to go out”
We are working in partnership with VisionPLUS to ensure we deliver the best service and support for carers in Birmingham.
If you would like more information about the role, please contact Olivier Jamin on firstname.lastname@example.org and enclose your CV.