In a UK survey of 3,400 unpaid carers, 83 per cent stated that caring had a negative impact on their physical health and 87 per cent stated that it had a negative impact on their mental health.
In recognition of the sacrifice made by the city’s unpaid carers, Sheffield City Trust is seeking to reward them by offering a range of unpaid and free and discounted leisure offers during this year’s Carers Week, which runs between June 6 and 12.
The trust is also set to hold an exclusive, all-day event at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre on Thursday, June 9, when carers of all ages will be invited to take part in an exciting programme of free ‘taster’ sessions, from aerobics and football to badminton and new age curling.
From Monday, June 6, Sheffield carers will also be given the chance to enjoy eight free activities across gym, swimming, fitness classes and ice skating activities, within a three-month period.
It is hoped this will give carers essential flexibility; allowing them to try different activities at their leisure to see the benefits of on-going activity.
All registered carers can also access the trust’s concessionary discount which provides 40 per cent off all Sheffield City Trust memberships and activities.
60-year-old Steve is a full time carer for his wife Gillian, who has been suffering from chronic back pain since 2012. Despite multiple operations and support from the pain clinic, Gillian relies on Steve for physical and emotional support.
He is one of more than 12,000 unpaid carers currently being supported by city charities, Sheffield Carers Centre and Sheffield Young Carers.
Steve said: “Caring for me was an automatic role. I could have run from it and gone back to work but I didn’t. It’s not easy: there’s no 9-5 when you’re a carer. It’s very tiring and sometimes you lose a bit of yourself. But it’s not the end and it’s really important to move forward and think about your own health, as well as the health of the person you’re caring for.
“Like most people, I’ve let my eating go quite a bit since the pandemic. I’m diabetic and I haven’t been focusing on my health as much as I should be. I want to be here for as long as I can be to help Gillian – I don’t want to be someone who needs care themselves – so I’m determined to get my health back on track. Having a gym and swim membership with Sheffield City Trust is giving me the chance to do it.
“Because I’m a carer I’ve got a Life Card Plus, and it’s made a huge difference. We wouldn’t be able to use the gym or go swimming if it weren’t for the discount it gets you.”
Pauline Kimantas, chief executive at Sheffield Carers Centre, said: “This is a fantastic offer from Sheffield City Trust who clearly recognise the needs of carers. Caring for a family member or friend can be extremely challenging, both physically and emotionally, and as Steve says, being able to take a proper break can offer unpaid carers a real lifeline.
“Our event at Ponds Forge will allow carers of all ages to take a look around the venue, try their hand at a wide range of activities, and access some fantastic free and discounted offers.”
To find out more about Sheffield City Trust’s offer for unpaid carers, visit https://www.sheffieldcitytrust.org/articles/carers-week-2022.
Adult carers can call 0114 272 8362 or visit www.sheffieldcarers.org.uk to register with Sheffield Carers Centre to find out what support they are entitled to.
If you are a young carer or if you work with young carers, visit www.sheffieldyoungcarers.org.uk to make a referral or to find out how young carers can get support. Or call 0114 258 4595 to find out more.