We offer specific support for carers of people with memory loss and dementia. Carers are welcome to come to any of our general carer groups or services but we offer three main services which are dementia specific.
In the beginning…….
Carers in Bedfordshire’s beginnings were as The Eve Project back in 2004, set up by former carer Yvonne Clark.The Eve Project was run with no funding and simply from Yvonne's conservatory.
In April 2005, The Eve Project secured funding from the Harpur Trust and after another year, the name was changed to Carers in Bedfordshire. In doing so, the support for unpaid carers became countywide. Carers in Bedfordshire continued to grow and support more carers across the county and in April 2009 received funding to open a new carers centre in Biggleswade. The first ever Carers cafe also took place in this month.
In September 2009, the NHS funded Carers in Bedfordshire to run the Carers Grants scheme to provide unpaid carers with a grant to have a break from their caring role.
The ever growing need for carer specific support was becoming more evident and more important so in September 2011 Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and NHS Bedfordshire put carers services out to tender. The aim of this was to bring all carers services in the county together so carers have one number to call when they are in need of support or help. Carers in Bedfordshire won the contract to provide exclusive carers services across the county.
Today, Carers in Bedfordshire supports over 7,000 unpaid carers. This is a huge growth from Yvonne’s inspirational idea in 2004, but there is still so much more we aim to do for unpaid carers. There is estimated to be 40,000 unpaid carers across Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire, and we want to be able to reach all of them.
Yvonne Clark retired in November 2013 and the new CEO Helen Satterthwaite took over with the vision of continuing Carers in Bedfordshire’s rapid growth, ensuring we reach all unpaid carers in Bedfordshire and looking to improve our services to repay carers for the amazing work they do for the UK economy and society.
Carers in Bedfordshire is a not-for-profit registered charity providing support for carers of family members and friends throughout Bedfordshire including those whose cared for are in a residential setting or has recently passed away.
We can provide you with emotional and practical support, advocacy, signposting, training and social environments according to your needs and wishes.
We have offices in Bedford, Biggleswade and Leighton Buzzard as well as Carers Lounges in Bedford Hopistal and Luton & Dunstable Hospital. Click here for our contact details.
We run Carers’ Support Groups which meet regularly in Bedford, Biggleswade, Ampthill, Shefford, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard to provide a social environment where carers can meet up and enjoy themselves. Click here for more information on our support groups.
We also run a free training programme for carers which includes computer tuition, relaxation pampering sessions, armchair exercising, emergency first aid, understanding difficult behaviour and other subjects highlighted as being important to carers. For more information and a list of the training we provide.
For media enquiries please contact Carol Solaiman.
Bedford: Suite K, Sandland Court, Pilgrim Centre, Brickhill Drive, Bedford, MK41 7PZ, Tel: 0300 111 1919
Biggleswade: Sea Cadet HQ, Station Road, Biggleswade, SG18 8AL, Tel: 01767 315079
Leighton Buzzard: Whichellos Wharf House, The Elms, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 9NY Contact staff directly
Bedford Hospital Carers Lounge: Bedford Hospital, South Wing, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 9DJ, Tel:01234 355122 ext 5247
Luton & Dunstable Hospital Carers Lounge: St Mary’s Wing, Luton & Dunstable Hospital, Lewsey Road, Luton, LU4 0DZ, Tel:01582 491166