We have so much great news to share with you across February and March, I’ll get straight to it… This month our 5 Ways to Wellbeing theme is Helping Others and I’d like to share some incredible ways our community and our very own carers are helping others this month.
March 9 is Hands Up for Canberra Giving Day and this year Carers ACT is participating in this shared community fundraiser to make sure we can continue to meet carer needs that fall outside our traditional services and programs. We know that every carer is unique and so are their needs, and fundraisers like Hands Up for Canberra Giving Day give us not only the flexibility to meet those needs, but also to raise awareness of carer issues in the community. A big thank you to those who have already helped to Share the Care by sharing a social post, forwarding our campaign to others.
In other related important news for all carers in the ACT, Shaw Building Group are hosting their annual fundraiser event on the 8th of March. We eagerly look forward to the frivolity and fund-raising that will take place next week, but more importantly the opportunity these two big events offer for raising carer awareness across Canberra.
The Shaw Annual Bowling Day and Hands Up for Canberra are great opportunities for us – and you – to share caring stories with Canberra. Caring is often an invisible role and carers tell us they often feel unseen and isolated in this role. So please, if you are a past carer who was supported by Carers ACT, or your caring role has changed and you now have a little more time and energy help a fellow carer by sharing your experience, please reach out to a carer you know and share your experience, or reach out to us and we will help you tell your story.
We are very grateful and proud to share three great carer stories this month. During March you will find the moving stories of two young carers that have received Shaw Scholarships on our website. Shaw Scholarships have helped them to stay in education and follow their professional aspirations, while still managing their caring role. While the bowling days that Shaw Building Group holds each year is glorious fun, and a great community get together (and an excuse to don fancy dress) – these real stories are what it’s really all about: changing carers lives for the better.
Our third Carer Story is from Joanna, who volunteers her time to help shape mental health care and carer issues in the ACT through our Advocacy and Policy Advisory Group (APAG). Read her story here to see how carers can make broad change in the community, and in care or health systems. Helping others though an advisory group, or having your say on policy, can be empowering, rewarding and fulfilling personally.
But it is also important to look after yourself when giving to others, as Joanna mentions in her interview. So if you are interested in telling your story or informing policy, I would encourage you to let us know what support would help you to help others. Carer ACT values your policy input, and recognises that sharing a personal story can be confronting and challenging, so we work with carers through education and services to support you in these roles.
Thank you to Joanna, Sebastian and Summar for being brave enough to share! I hope these carers and the impact they are making, will inspire you to share in whatever way works for you.
You might be an established carer who is able to guide a friend who is just starting their caring role over coffee. You might choose to take a change-making role where carers are the subject matter experts, like Joanna did. Or for our corporate friends, fellow community organisations and other folks who value carers, you may choose to share out loud in the world – on social media, to your employer or workplace, in your care agency.
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