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Carer network launched to bridge the gap between need and support which is available

Paul Robinson has helped set up the Think Carer network.

Paul Robinson has helped set up the Think Carer network.

Paul Robinson

As social care provision has shrunk across the country, carers and those needing support are being left in the dark about who they can turn to for help.

Luckily, North Walsham’s Paul Robinson has been setting up organisations to help bridge the gap between people’s needs and what support is available.

Mr Robinson is responsible for helping bring together both North Walsham’s Good Neighbours scheme. as well as the Think Carer network which will launch on Friday, June 16. All this week, as part of Carers’ Week 2017, we are speaking to those who care to highlight the important work they do.

Mr Robinson, 69, said: “We set up the network to connect smaller local groups who care for people with each other, so that they could share advice and feedback to people in need what other services were available to them. For example. the Good Neighbours group could help an elderly person put a fence back up that had blown over, but could then learn that this person has dementia. They could then go to the network and ask for advice on how to help them further or flag up that this individual could use some help.”

The Swasfield Rise resident added: “It’s all about communication and sharing information. A lot of the feedback we receive is that people go to help someone and then realise that all people want is someone to talk to on a human level, because they are struggling with isolation. And that’s what people get out of it, a sense that they’re making a real, positive difference. I think one of the main challenges is that people don’t actually realise they’re a carer, don’t realise what’s on offer to them, that they’re entitled to this without a receipt of debt. Often someone thinks they’re helping a member of their family and then you tell them they’re a carer and they blink.”

Mr Robinson said: “For me personally my reason for getting involved is that we’ve seen funding reduced over the years the onus is on communities to step up and help people in their area. Paid carers go in and do one or two agreed jobs and then have to whip off to the next person,

• For more on working in care, see our special supplement in your EDP on June 20.

• Norfolk Carers is the funded organisation to support carers in Norfolk, delivered through the charity Norfolk Carers Support. Call their advice line on 0808 808 9876.

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