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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Hi-tech push to free Cumbria's carers from isolation

A charity chief says a new scheme to make carers less isolated is a “great opportunity”.

The Rotary Club secured £500 funding from their district branch while the Carlisle South branch added another £250 from bucket collections to buy three refurbished laptops.

The project, organised between the Rotary Club and Carlisle Carers, will give computer training to those who care full-time for family members will illnesses or disability.

Carers will be trained to keep in touch with friends and relatives by using email, Facebook, Skype and other social networks with the aim of reducing social isolation.

Dawn Kenyon, chief executive of Carlisle Carers, said: “If you have a very big caring role, say for a relative with dementia or who’s had a stroke, your chances for socialising are few and far between.

“Our volunteer project is hugely successful and this is a great opportunity.

“We are just getting volunteers trained at the moment and we need to make sure that carers are matched with the right sort of volunteers.”

It is thought that there are more than 10,000 carers in the Carlisle area, with 12 per cent of the population thought to be providing a care role.

Pauline Butler of the Rotary Club said: “The scheme will make a big difference to the quality of life for these carers.

“It’s the first of many other things we can do for Carlisle. Being able to shop online will make a big difference. There’s education as well – they can log onto courses. It’s not just the isolation side of it.”

Anyone who would like further information should contact Carlisle Carers on 01228 542156.

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