Carers living in Essex can get funding for computer training, respite care, adult education and additional support to make their lives better.
An Essex Carers initiative (part of the Benfleet-based 4sx non-profit making consortium) is aimed at improving the lives of people who give up their time to care for a loved one, partner, relation or friend.
The innovative project is designed to help carers develop new skills, gain training and qualifications, and become more confident.
There are just a couple of criteria would-be participants need to fulfil to access free training, extra education opportunities, and extra respite.
Carers need to be either unemployed or economically inactive, and they must produce either a valid passport (even an out-of-date passport) together with proof that they have the right to work in the UK.
The Leigh-on-Sea based project officer for the innovative scheme, Frazer Clark, 56, said: “There are thousands of unpaid, unemployed carers in Essex doing a fantastic job – but it is easy for them to feel isolated or fall behind with their skills.
“This Building Better Opportunities scheme is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund with funds matched by the European Social Fund – and it’s a great way to develop new skills and start your journey to a happier life.
“There is some form filling, but members of the Essex Carers team will happily travel to meet participants and talk them through the process.
“But once this is done, they’ll be on their way to totally free help for anything from training courses to getting additional respite care.
“If additional respite means a hard-pressed carer can free up some time to get some ‘me time’ or catch up with old friends, that’s great. We at Essex Carers have been tasked with helping carers get more out of life, gain more skills and enjoy life more. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
“The scheme has already helped scores of carers from Colchester, Braintree and Saffron Walden in the north of Essex to Chelmsford, Braintree, Basildon, Thurrock, Canvey and Southend in the. One young carer wanted to become a nail technician, so we arranged and paid for a course. She’s now qualified and runs her own business,” said Mr Clark.
Other participants have qualified in bookkeeping (level 2&3) – saving themselves £1,045 – and taken a Special Educational Needs law course (which was funded by £1,000) while we also provided part-funding for a Montessori teaching course.
Another participant – a full time carer for his wife – was concerned about finding work as he approached retirement age.
The Essex man, who had previously worked as a music teacher, got help for a BA (Hons) Music degree (through part time study with the Open University). The man is now well on his way to passing his first round of modules and is both happier and more certain about his future.
The “Essex Carers – the way to work” scheme is totally free, is just an email or phone call away and promises to change carers lives for the better.
Contact numbers: 01268 923912 or mobile 07549 293762