Young Adult Carers Celebration Event!
Action for Family Carers held their first ever Young Adult Carers Celebration event on Wednesday 5th August 2015 at Weston Holmes Community Football Stadium, Colchester.

20 Young Adult Carers aged 16+ and their family members attended the event which was opened by Action for Family Carers’ Chief Executive Officer, James Clarke. “Young Adult Carers are hidden heroes who selflessly care for other people whilst also managing the difficult transition into adult life. Today we want to recognise all that they do and to celebrate their individual achievements over the last year.”

Five special awards were presented to Young Adult Carers by Alison Mitchell of the Carers Trust on behalf of Action for Family Carers. The awards included one presented to Emily Shipp, aged 18 for Promoting Community Awareness – Emily is a great ambassador for Young Adult Carers, speaking at events across the county, in person and on the radio. Emily is a remarkable young woman and a true inspiration to all that meet her.

A further three Certificates of Competency were presented by Robert Macaulay, President of the Rotary Club of Colchester. These competencies recognise the life skills these young people gain through caring which often go unrecognised; such as budgeting and time management.

“We all deserve to be recognised and appreciated for what we do at home, as so many people don’t understand and realise what we do and who we are” – Amber Wakefield – 18, from Colchester.

Celebrating our 25th year –
what we’ve been up to...

Carers Week was a huge success. Staff were out and about all over the district offering help and advice to members of the public. Our CEO James Clarke caught up with Councillor Ann Brown to further champion our cause.

Our volunteer co-ordinator spent a fantastic day at the Maldon and Dengie Air Rifle Charity Shoot and collected a cheque for a whopping £1240.

Carers Hospital Liaison worker Karen was on hand at the East of England Heavy Horse show with a couple of young helpers to offer advice and support to members of the public. Our volunteers ran the sponsors tent and received a fantastic donation of £1500 from the East Essex Heavy Horse show committee.

Our volunteers also helped raise £507 at our annual jumble sale and volunteer fundraiser extraordinaire.

Gill Curtis organised a brilliant family fun day as well as raised a very impressive £405.

A big thank-you and well done to: Veronica Sadowsky, Karen Forbes and Jenny Goodson who completed a 10 mile walk around central London as part of the ‘Carers Thames Walk’ challenge. We estimate that we raised over £500!

A big thank-you to Waitrose, Billericay who chose Action for Family Carers as their supported Charity and raised £596 for us!


Wow what a busy few months for our brilliant volunteers!
• Harlow VIP group celebrated the summer solstice in style with a range of activities and a celebratory buffet lunch. Not only have they helped support our vital Carer services but they have also been busy out and about.

• Movie star Steve Brandon joined our volunteer team in Mersea helping out at our Respite day centre at Harrison Court.

• We took part in filming for the Volunteer Essex website and our film can be viewed here as well as having a brilliant article printed in this months Complete Health magazine written by ex-carer and volunteer Jackie Nesbitt.

• And as if that wasn’t enough volunteer gardener Monica Marsh helped us achieve “Silver” in the Maldon in bloom competition and we have our fingers crossed for our entry into “Anglia in bloom” competition!

• Our volunteers practice their First Aid skills at the FAS training, skills for life course.

If you attended the Broomfield Hospital Family Fun and Open Day hopefully you would have popped over to say hello to some of our staff and volunteers who ran a stall. But to show our appreciation “Action for Family Carers” said thank you to our brilliant volunteers for all the amazing help and support they have given us with a celebratory lunch at the Annley House Tea rooms in Latchingdon.

REMEMBER - If you are a young carer you still have time to enter our “design a Christmas card competition” just send us your entry (it doesn’t need to be a Christmas theme) on a A5 piece of paper with your name, age and address before the 18th September.


Chessington World of Adventures
At Harlow we were fortunate enough to receive tickets from the Merlin Group to take our Young Carers youth group to Chessington World of Adventures for the day.

The young people we took had a great time, enjoying spending time together and pushing themselves out of their comfort Zone.

We noticed that the young people we took supported one another throughout the day.


Young Carers
Young carers staff were out and about talking to Colchester Zoo staff and visitors and bumped into Jez from the “Colchester Zoo” documentary!

Pudsey Bear made a guest appearance at some of our Young Carer club nights and the young carers got a close up look at some weird and wonderful creatures when Kimmy’s mobile petting zoo popped along to a young carers club night.

The boys and girls club came up with fundraising ideas for Action for Family Carers as part of their National Citizenship held at an
entertaining evening in Ilford.


Broomfield Hospital – Carers Week 8th June 2015
We were able to reach in excess of 30 ‘new’ carers and professionals during Monday 8th June at Broomfield Hospital, with our Supporting Carers In Essex and Carer’s Week promotional stand.

Mersea Island Health & Wellbeing Days in June and August 2015
Thanks to funding obtained from Anglian Community Trust we were able to host two very successful Health & Wellbeing Days, enjoying Shimmy & Groove seated exercises and Laughter Yoga. After a delicious buffet lunch a relaxing afternoon with Nurture Dogs or experimenting with water colour painting and bracelet making.


Rewarding Carers in Mid Essex
Summer Carers Party 9th June 2015
60 Carers and their loved ones enjoyed a summer party to Reward Carers across Mid Essex; The morning began with Shimmy and Groove – seated exercises with Jean Hunter. When everyone had worked up an appetite, a scrumptious summer lunch was served with fresh fruit and cupcakes to follow for dessert.

Whilst afternoon entertainment was provided through the nostalgic tunes of ‘The Dengie Duo’, all 40 carers attending were able to relax and enjoy mini pampering sessions, including Indian Head massage, reflexology, pedicures and manicures. Their loved ones continued to relax throughout the afternoon, with a dance and a good ol’ sing song!

Summer Afternoon Tea
Chelmsford Support Group 7th July 2015
The Chelmsford Support Group were invited to spend the afternoon in the most beautiful private gardens and were truly spoilt with champagne, wine, sandwiches, freshly made scones, jam and clotted cream, homemade fruit Pavlovas, teas and coffees – many many thanks go to Paul and Janet Osman who opened their wonderful home and gardens for a truly marvellous and entertaining afternoon.

West Side Story (Stories!)
My name is Maureen and I have been a carer for over 21 years for my husband who had a stroke. Medical care wasn’t so good then and he was left with no speech, little understanding and an inability to relate to everyday life.

These 21 years have been frustrating, occasionally funny and at times I have been in tears but I have learned to cope. I have been lucky- I have kept my friends and go out occasionally. Now my mum who is in her 90s needs some support and help and I have a daughter who has dialysis who I sit with each week. On the plus side, I have two lovely daughters, five good grandsons and a great grand daughter who keeps me sane. Since 2000, I have had the support of Caring for Harlow Carers and now Action for Family Carers. My husband goes to their VIP Respite Club where he enjoys dominoes, plays card games on their computer and meets up with his friends. It also means I get a few hours to myself each week, which I really value.
Maureen Geraghty

From a member of Staff
I worked for many years for Local Disability Rights Charities in Islington and Waltham Forest. It was whilst working in this field that I first became aware of some of the difficulties faced by carers and the importance of helping them to identify the support structures that needed to be in place, to enable them to continue their caring role.

Prior to joining Action for Family Carers, I was employed for 8 years as Housing Services Manager, at Harlow Council. I was responsible for services for people aged 55 and I also worked for Broxbourne Borough Council in a similar role for 2 years. I also have personal experience of caring for a family member. I remember vividly some of the day to day issues that arose and the “struggle” to arrange services and support. I have been working in my current post for approximately 3 ½ years. During that time I have been privileged to work alongside a large number of carers living and working in Harlow. My duties include co-ordinating and organising carers meetings – offering one to one and group support to carers, arranging a programme of regular events and training for carers. In addition, I provide one to one support to carers via our “Ring Back” service. This enables us to maintain regular contact with carers – without carers having to take the time to ask for support. This is a brief snapshot of my background and I hope it gives you a little insight into my role here in West Essex.
Emma Robinson, Adult Carers Support and Development Worker West Essex Team

Volunteering in Harlow
My name is Olive and I have been giving support at the Respite Club in Harlow for 9 years. The VIP (Very Important People) Club meets once a week from 10.30 to 3.30 and gives carers a short break from their caring role whilst the person they care for has a day out with their friends.

Previously, I cared for my daughter Clare for 36 years. My working background was supporting family carers firstly with Harlow Crossroads and latterly with Harlow Alzheimer’s Society. I then became a trustee with Caring for Harlow Carers and have continued to support the charity and now Action for Family Carers by volunteering at the VIP Club. It is rewarding and enjoyable being introduced to the people who come to Club. I look forward to spending a few hours – chatting, puzzling, playing board games, completing jigsaws and doing many other activities - with everyone who attends.
Olive Grannell, Volunteer, Adult Carers

The Carers Stroke Support Group
working in partnership with Action for Family Carers

Meetings are held monthly at the Fullbridge Church in Maldon. For information on this group please call
Val Brown on 01621 851640.

Also, there is a NEW Stroke Support Group at St Lukes Church Hall, Imperial Drive, Mayland, CM3 6AH. The next group will be meeting on Thursday the 13th of August and fortnightly thereafter. Both carers and cared for are welcome to attend. For more information please contact Peter Wey on 01621 928394 or via email

Macmillan Carer Support for Essex

Action For Family Carers have been providing specialist support for Carers of people with long-term life limiting conditions in Mid Essex since 2011. Following the diligence and hard work of those involved, we have been commissioned to provide this support across the whole of Essex.

Working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and Essex County Council, Action For Family Carers now have a full team of Macmillan Carer Support Workers, ready to provide one to one emotional support, practical support, information and advocacy to Carers of those who are approaching end of life. The aim of the Macmillan Carer Support team is to ensure that specialist support is available to Carers throughout their journey.

Carers can refer themselves by calling
0300 7 708090 or they can be referred by a Health Professional.

The Macmillan Carer Support Team will be holding a Coffee morning on Friday 25th September at Brickhouse Farm Community Centre.
All are welcome!


A Few Words from the CEO
Action for Family Carers is now officially a Centre of Excellence! This follows an audit of our services for Adult Carers and Young Carers by Carers Trust earlier in the year, following which we have been awarded their Quality Mark at Level 2. We will continue to strive for excellence in all that we do for Carers.

We have been busy over the last few months getting our new countywide Supporting Carers in Essex service fully up and running. There is a single phone number to access all services – 0300 770 80 90, a new website and lots of promotion has been going on to make sure that Carers and the general public know about the service, including a great focus on Carers on BBC Essex during Carers Week.

We have held our first ever Young Adult Carers Celebration event in Colchester. It was lovely to hear about how much these young people aged 16-24 have achieved over the last year – in addition to all that they do as unpaid carers.

We also recently launched our new Friends of Action for Family Carers group in Harlow. This is an opportunity for anyone who wants to support the charity’s work in Harlow whether through feeding in ideas, fundraising or helping us to raise awareness in the local community. Please contact us on 01621 851 640 or 01279 308314 if you are interested in becoming a Friend!

Best wishes, James Clarke, Chief Executive Officer

You said…we did!
Based on feedback from Carers our Carers Forums will in future be incorporated into support group meetings or combined with other activities. This will start with the Chelmsford Carers Forum on 1st September.

Carers at our Braintree Carers Forum requested a repeat of the manual handling course – an additional course was run in June.

Carers at our Brentwood Carers Forum highlighted the need for there to be regular reviews of Carers Assessments. We are now in discussion with Essex County Council about this and the whole topic of Carers Assessments and how these can be made more effective for Carers.

Finally, I hosted a garden party in my garden on 7th July in place of our normal July meeting which 22 Chelmsford carers attended.

Paul Osman, Lead Trustee – Carer Engagement

Being a Trustee
My involvement with Action for Family Carers started as a guest of another Trustee at the dinner and dances about 3 years ago. I didn’t know very much about the charity at that time. I retired from working after 40 years last year. I originally trained as an Accountant but my last role was working as a Payroll and Pensions Manager for a Private Sector Health Care Provider with 24,000 staff. I joined the board as a Trustee in October last year to help with the Staff Payroll and Pensions projects where new legislation requires us to make some changes.

I still feel now a year on that I have so much to learn about this inspiring charity that provides such a worthwhile service to so many people who would otherwise receive little or no support. The organisation focuses on people and that is so important to me. I always see the staff and volunteers going the extra mile and showing such empathy and care for those who need help dealing with complex and challenging situations, bringing their experience and providing practical solutions.

I have been very busy this year leading two projects which has been time consuming but I don’t regret a single minute of the time or the effort. This did come in a year when we moved home and have had some major building work done on the house. I am also committed to a lot of care and issues concerning my mother who is 92 so sometimes I have had to do some multi -tasking! This year has been very worthwhile and exciting working with Action for Family Carers. It’s also been lovely to be involved in all the 25th anniversary celebrations with James our CEO and the team and my fellow Trustees who together provide a wealth of experience, skills and abilities which will help to lead this important Charity for the future.

Rebecca Loader, Lead Trustee – Payroll and Pensions

Do you need respite care?

We can offer Carers in Maldon and Chelmsford a few hours break by looking after your cared-for in our day centre or one of our outreach venues.

Trained Care Assistants are available to provide a variety of activities and a Carer Support Worker can offer support to Carers.

Brickhouse Farm, Poulton Close, Maldon. CM9 6NG.
Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 10.00am – 3.00pm.
Lunch will be provided and transport is available if required.

Burnham on Crouch
Carnival Hall, Arcadia Road, Burnham on Crouch, Essex CM0 8BS.
For adults, every Thursday, 10.00am - 2.30pm.
Lunch will be provided.

The Parish Rooms, Church Street, Tollesbury CM9 8QJ.
For adults, every Friday, 10.00am – 2.30pm.
Lunch will be provided.

Springfield, Chelmsford
St Augustines Church Hall, Beardsley Drive, North Springfield, Chelmsford CM1 6DQ.
For adults, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, 11.00am – 2.30pm.

Mersea Island
Harrison Court, Greys Close, West Mersea CO5 8QR.
For adults, every Thursday, 10.15am – 2.30pm.
Lunch will be provided.

If you would like any more information please contact Jayne or Liz who will be happy to be of assistance.

Our phone number is 01621 851640.

Office hours Monday – Friday 9.00am – 4.30pm


Back to top

Back to homepage