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APRIL 2020 

We are continuing to support
carers during Covid-19 

Our telephone and online support is open Monday to Friday
You are most likely to get a response
between the hours of 10 am - 12 noon and 1 - 3 pm 
Please call 0191 4900121 or email
Visit our website at 
Hello everyone,

We wanted to get in touch with you to give an update on what we've been up to, what we're planning and how you might be able to get involved. These are difficult times for us all and sadly it is often the most vulnerable in our communities who are hit the hardest.  We are particularly mindful that the effect of Covid-19 on our clients is likely to be magnified and we're doing all we can to support carers, our staff and others connected to Gateshead Carers.

What we've been doing
  • We have been liaising with Gateshead Council and other statutory and voluntary organisations to see how we can best work together to respond to the crisis.
  • Our whole team is busy working from home and continuing to be there for our existing clients as well as new carer referrals, providing telephone and online support with our dedicated and experienced team of Carer Wellbeing Facilitators.
  • We have been supporting carers who have been coming to us with a range of questions or challenges related to COVID-19 and its impact on them including; their own mental health and wellbeing particularly higher levels of stress and anxiety; advice about how to get prescriptions; whether they will receive an NHS letter saying they are high risk and must self isolate; whether as unpaid carers, they should still visit the person they provide care for; financial worries; feeling lonely.  Whatever your concern is we are here to help. 
  • Our social media pages through Facebook and Twitter are being regularly updated with useful information and links on health and wellbeing, financial support, keeping fit and boredom busters with activities for the whole family. We hope you are finding these helpful.
  • We have been publishing and sharing information in various languages, with online translation links, to help carers in our community for whom English is not their first language, reinforcing central and local government advice.  
What we're planning 
  • We are planning to deliver regular Wellbeing Sessions online; some live sessions and some pre-recorded sessions for carers that would like to access these at a different time to suit them. 
  • We will be providing a Telephone Interpreting Service so that our team can best support all carers regardless of their native tongue.
  • We are very excited to announce that our New Gateshead Carers Website will be launched next week!  It is designed to make it even clearer and easier for you to find what you want and with lots of opportunities to get involved and to contact us including a Live Chat feature. Please let us know what your experience is - we would love to hear your feedback. 
  • Our Carers Emergency Fund Appeal will be launched soon. If you would like to make a contribution you will be able to do this soon via the donate page on our new website as well as by Text donation. Thank you. 
Some updates to note
  • As part of our registration and commitment to the governments Disability Confident scheme, we are actively seeking to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to our workplace and in helping to positively change attitudes, behaviours and cultures.
  • We are now registered with the Fundraising Regulator, which further reinforces our commitment to good fundraising practice. 
  • The Gateshead Awards 2020, organised by Gateshead Council, has been postponed to 2021 with all shortlisted nominations automatically entered. Voting has been put on hold for now but as soon as we know when it opens again we will let you know so that we can all show our support for our wonderful shortlisted nominations; Susan Young (shortlisted for Volunteer of the Year 2020) and Adele Davis and Joy Bell (shortlisted for Carer of the Year 2020). The awards ceremony will now take place in 2021 (date to be confirmed).  Look out for more information to come on our social media pages, website and our future eNewsletters!
  • Also postponed to next year is our Hadrian's Wall Challenge which will now take place at the start of Carers Week 2021 - plenty of time to get fit and ready for that challenge!!
  • Please read the latest health advice and information on service disruptions from Gateshead Council here.
We hope you enjoy reading the uplifting and beautifully written poem by Helen Redfern, a carer and published author (see below).

Stay safe and well and look after each other.  Wishing you much serenity and happiness.

Steve Cowen
Chief Executive Officer 

Your wellbeing is at the heart of the sessions we run for carers. We aim firstly to encourage you to think about your own health and secondly, to enable you to build up resilience, so that you can carry on in your caring role with greater confidence if you wish to do so.

Find out more about our Wellbeing sessions
Please contact Janice Hall 0191 4900121 or

An Uplifting and Mindful Read!

Having your work published is no mean feat, so when one of our carers and published author, Helen Redfern, got in touch to share some of her recent published articles with us, we couldn’t wait to share them with you all too!  Helen has not only written articles for NARC. Magazine (the online independent guide to alternative music and culture for the North East) and Yoga Matters (online Yoga and Wellness), but has published two novels and Martha and Me, a biography of the North East dancer, Eliot Smith. 

Here are the links to Helen's article in NARC. magazine and her beautiful poem in Yoga Matters Also reproduced in full below: 

Savasana Poem:
A Mindful Response to Where we Are

March 26th, 2020 by HELEN REDFERN

We thought we had it all sorted:
That clear 2020 vision, that carefully crafted five-year plan, those long-term life goals.
It was all going so well; everything was on track.
We thought we were in control.

We never thought it would come to this:
These escalating measures that limit our freedom, this rising panic that steals our calm.
It came out of nowhere and stopped us in our tracks.
All we can do is relinquish control.

And so now we stop:
We take stock, we slow down, we reassess our priorities.
All that previously seemed to matter so much has been stripped away.
Feeling in control was always an illusion.

We’re heading off together into the unknown:
We have not walked this path before. None of us have.
None of us know how long the journey will be or where it will take us.
None of us know how this journey will change us.

Surrounded by anxiety, let us choose to seek calm:
To take time, to slow down, to breathe.
With nowhere to go, no place to be,
Let us creatively explore this gift of time.

Threatened with illness, let us choose to seek health:
Health care, self-care, all that nourishes mind and body.
Listening to our heart, observing with curiosity,
Let us creatively explore this gift of life.

Confronted with isolation, let us choose to seek connection:
With self and others, with nature and the universe.
Discovering how to be alone and yet not lonely,
Let us creatively explore this gift of love.

As published by
Do you know someone who is a carer?

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 cannot cope without their support. The reasons and causes of someone taking on caring responsibilities are varied but can include:
  • Physical disability
  • Mental health problems
  • Long-term health condition
  • Dementia
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Alcohol & substance misuse
Help us to spread the word!
0191 4900 121 
Gateshead Carers Association, John Haswell House, 8-9 Gladstone Terrace, Gateshead, NE8 4DY
Tel: 0191 4900 121 Gateshead Carers Association is a Charitable Company limited by guarantee. Charity registration number 1118942 Company registration number 6133161 
Copyright © 2019 Gateshead Carers Association, All rights reserved.
Wellbeing for unpaid adult carers in Gateshead

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