Carers Bulletin - October 2020

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Coventry Carers' bulletin

Welcome to October's Bulletin

As you are aware,  from 24 October 2020, Coventry was placed under new Covid-19 restrictions, moving up to Tier 2 of the National Covid alert system. This means there are new restrictions on households mixing in homes. Households can mix outside but in no more than groups of six. Although this may limit social contact, you can still have people come into your home to provide care and assistance to a vulnerable person. For further information please see the latest guidance from the Government. 

Due to the increased concerns around Covid-19 and the anxiety that this can cause it is important to make sure you don't feel alone and that you know where and how to seek the support you might need. In this month's bulletin we have included information around accessing a free flub jab. This is not only available for you as a carer but also for a personal assistant if you employ one. Carers Trust is offering a wide range of virtual sessions ranging from emotional support through their Hope course, and yoga, right through to a regular quiz night. They hope you can join them and look forward to seeing you! 

We have also included information on how to stay warm as winter fast approaches, and an organisation you can contact if you need support and advice. There are details about the work that Coventry City Council's Adult Social Care team has been doing over the past 12 months and also information about a study for carers. 

With Halloween just round the corner, West Midlands Police Service have produced a poster to help reduce anxiety that "trick or treaters"may cause. You can print this off and display this in your window to identify that you do not want people knocking your door.

Carers UK are also promoting Carers' Rights Day on 26 November, which aims to highlight the rights for carers, where you can get help and support and also raise awareness of carers. Look out in next month's bulletin to find out how we celebrated this.

While the challenges of Covid-19 continue, we hope that you feel able to access the support that's available and most importantly stay safe and well. Please take care and stay safe.

carers rights day

New offer from Carers Trust Heart of England

carers trust

In last month's bulletin we were pleased to announce that Carers Trust were able to offer new interventions. We can now provide further detail into what that consists of and how it can support you and your loved one(s).

This additional carer support includes:

  • Virtual day support will help carers to take a break and feel supported to carry on their caring role with an opportunity to participate in virtual day centre activities, connecting with other carers and reducing social isolation
  • Carer Community Connection which aims to improve carers' mental and physical health by supporting carers to connect to the community by accessing and developing activities
  • Digital inclusion for carers by enabling carers to access IT equipment with one-off direct payments, supporting carers to use IT and online platforms and by developing a range of courses to support carers
  • Grief and loss support via a series of carer-focused workshops exploring the stages of loss and grief and advice on dealing with difficult emotions. We will also be offering carers self-care support which will enable them to cope in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Supporting working carers, working with their employers and enabling employers to develop their support to carers which will empower carers to remain in the workforce
  • Reducing carer hardship and poverty by providing information, advice and signposting to job coaches and financial advice. We will also be providing one-off direct payments to carers when they are experiencing financial hardship to ensure that practical difficulties can be addressed easily
  • Enhancing support for BAME carers in Coventry by ensuring BAME communities are enabled to access carers services and information
  • Supporting Young Carers if more support is required as a result of Covid-19, their caring responsibilities and returning to school

Alongside these new interventions they will continue to offer their virtual sessions.

For further information please contact our Wellbeing Team or call us on 024 7663 2972.


Hope Programme - online support to stay connected


Are you a carer based in Coventry?

Would you like to cope better, feel more in control of your emotions and be more resilient?

It is important for carers to stay connected, even more so during this time of social isolation. We are offering a free online Hope Programme, a 6-week online group self-management programme for carers in Coventry to help you cope with life during lockdown - to feel more in control and more resilient.

Each week the course covers topics like: • managing stress • smarter goal setting • gratitude • character strengths • physical activity • eating well • coping with fatigue • practising mindfulness • communication and relationships

The course includes quizzes, worksheets, audio and video materials, interactive activities and social networking via email and forums. There will also be a live mindfulness session and opportunity for the group to come safely together online. You will be supported throughout by trained facilitators.

The course can be accessed from a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The course is not delivered in a way for people to be on “at the same time”. You will have access to the course 24/7. It takes about 2 hours to go through the materials each week, but you can do this at your own pace and time that suits.

We delivered pilot courses with carers and many found the course helped them to feel better and improved their quality of life.

“I couldn’t believe how the simple things in life, like journaling, gratitude and goal setting could make such a huge difference to my health wealth, both mentally and physically. The HOPE Programme has given me some great life skills, a toolkit if you like, so I can confidently bring any challenges back from chaos to re-balancing and nurturing me”.

Start dates:  2 November 2020, 11 January 2021 and further dates in 2021.

If you’re interested or want to find out more about the programme book your place now.

Flu jab reminder - Carers eligible for FREE flu jab

This year, in particular, it is important to protect yourself against the flu. If you are in receipt of carers allowance or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick, you are entitled to a free flu vaccination. You can access this via your GP surgery or at a local participating pharmacy.

If you employ a personal assistant, they are also entitled to a free flu vaccination. To access this they need to attend their GP surgery or pharmacy and explain they are a personal assistant. You may need to complete a letter of entitlement as proof of employment on their behalf.  

Annual health check for people with a learning disability


Do you care for someone who has a learning disability? Have they had their annual health check?


People with a learning disability often have poorer physical and mental health than other people, but this does not need to be the case. Annual health checks are available for adults and young people aged 14 or over with a learning disability, provided by their GP practice. Anyone aged 14 or over who's on their GP's learning disability register can have a free annual health check once a year. These important checks help to detect health conditions, check any medication is still appropriate, give you a chance to ask questions about your health and get to know the staff at the practice. 

You can find out more about the checks from the “Annual Health Check Up Information Leaflet”. You can also use our easy-read letter template to request an annual health check from your GP practice. Both can be downloaded.

Grapevine have also produced an animation to explain the process of the annual health check. 

There is also useful information about the different health screening tests that you are entitled to, these range from cervical screening, breast screening, bowel screening and abdominal aortic aneurysm screening.  Accessing these tests can help to keep your loved one healthy and you can speak to your GP for further information. 

Please encourage the person you care for you attend their annual check and to “Check In, Check Up and Check Out” on their health. Why not call up and book today?


Coventry Adult Social Care Annual Report

Local account 2020

Every year Adult Social Care produce a report to talk about what we have done over the last year. The report contains information about the amount of people we have worked with over the year, service developments, the key challenges we face and celebrate successes. The report is sometimes known as a Local Account.

This report has been co-produced using people's own journeys to demonstrate the work undertaken by the service. The report also sets out the priorities for Adult Social Care for the next year. Read or download a copy of the report.

We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who contributed this year and really brought the document to life.

Keeping Coventry warm

Act on energy

The Act On Energy service has been commissioned by Coventry City Council to reduce fuel poverty in Coventry and protect those who are most vulnerable to the health effects of living in cold homes.  Keeping warm is an important part of keeping well in the winter particularly for the very old or very young, and those with chronic illness affected by the cold, as more people get ill and may need to be admitted to hospital or see their GP.  It is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic that we keep our at risk communities safe and well at home.

The service provides:

  • A specialist helpline offering support and advice on keeping warm and ways to help reduce your energy bills.
  • Heating and insulation measures for the most vulnerable and will include the requirement for individuals to be dependent on benefits or on low incomes and have a health condition and/or disability that is exacerbated by living in a cold home such as boilers and heating system replacements. (these services are subject to eligibility and funding availability).
  • Training for front-line health, social care and other professionals to give fuel poverty advice and how to refer vulnerable individuals and families on to the provider as appropriate

For further information please call Act on Energy on the Free phone Advice Line: 

0800 988 2881

This month at Coventry libraries

allesley library

Along with other Coventry libraries Allesley Park and Canley Libraries are now able to offer appointments to use the computers and to browse the shelves, as well as continuing to offer the Click and Collect service. You can call to speak to one of the team on 024 7683 2314.

Pictures to Share are a set of pictorial books to help those with Dementia, learning difficulties or to inspire conversations. They are available in all Coventry Libraries


self help books

Care Companion

care companion

The Care Companion study: evaluating the impact of an online resource on the wellbeing of unpaid carers


With growing numbers of older people suffering from dementia, frailty and other conditions, unpaid carers such as family members, are playing an increasingly important role in society. Different ways of supporting carers are needed to help them cope with the challenges that caring involves.

Care Companion has been developed with carers to provide easy online access to the kind of information and support that carers would find most helpful. By asking a few questions about the particular condition and situation of the person being cared for, Care Companion is able to personalise the content it offers. It also has several other features including a diary for recording particular events and a mood monitor for keeping track of how the carer and the person who they look after is feeling.

With support from the NHS and local authorities in Coventry and Warwickshire, Care Companion has now been available to residents in this area for over a year. Care Companion could be made available to carers across the UK, but before this can be recommended there is a need to understand how it benefits carers.


The research we are undertaking aims to understand how Care Companion is used by those involved in caring, how it affects carer wellbeing and whether it represents value-for-money to the NHS and Social Care.


We will analyse data from Care Companion and describe how the various features are used and how this varies among different groups in the local population, for example by age or condition of the cared for person. We will also distribute questionnaires to assess how this is associated with carer well-being and quality of life. We will invite carers, and health and social care professionals to participate in surveys and interviews about their experience of Care Companion, and what improvements might be made.


National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit Programme.


Sign up or contact us

It’s simple!  Just add your email address in the top right hand corner and click GO!

You can also sign up or view previous bulletins from our Carers' website.

If you have any comments or wish to contribute something to the next bulletin, please let us know by contacting us at