Carers' Bulletin - February 2021

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Coventry Carers' bulletin

Welcome to February's bulletin

Welcome to this month's carers bulletin. I hope you and your loved ones are well. 

Included in this bulletin is the latest and very important information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for carers. If you are in receipt of DWP carers allowance, you are invited to book your vaccination through the national booking system. Please see below for more details of how to book.

March sees us celebrating and acknowledging our Young Carers within the city, and the amazing work and support they offer to their loved ones. The Young Carers Team have organised different events and activities to celebrate Young Carers Action Day 16 March, so please take a look below. 

As you can see, there is a lot going on in March, with activities ranging from pinch pottery and gardening to support for your mental wellbeing. Carers Trust Heart of England are also introducing two new groups this month, one for African Caribbean carers and one for Arabic carers. They hope you can join then. 

There are several surveys that may be of interest to you and information for an online tool  for mental health and wellbeing support. There is also information for those who care for people with a learning disability.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and stay safe.

Latest - COVID-19 vaccinations for Carers

Carers COVID-19 vaccine programme

The following information was shared on 25 February 2021 by NHS Coventry & Rugby CCG. At the time of sharing this information only those in receipt of Carers Allowance and those Carers known to their local GP Practice are able to book a vaccination appointment. However, a phased approach is being taken to inviting carers for vaccination appointments and all those eligible will be advised of how they can access a vaccination as soon as possible.

In the meantime if you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance please use the link or telephone number  below to book a vaccination appointment.


Roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine for carers begins

The coronavirus vaccination programme in Coventry and Warwickshire is inviting carers who are in receipt of DWP Carer’s Allowance to book their vaccination through the national booking system now.

For those who are eligible, an appointment for coronavirus vaccine can be booked online or by calling 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm - seven days a week.  

Carers will be able to choose to receive the vaccine from the large vaccination centre at Stoneleigh Park, or from two local pharmacies currently offering a vaccination service.

This is the start of the phased roll out of the vaccine to carers and will be expanded to other carers over the coming weeks. Carers will also be contacted by their local practice to be offered a vaccination in due course.

Sarah Raistrick, said: “It’s really important that carers who receive carers allowance book their vaccine as soon as they can directly through the national booking service. We know that people are really keen to get the vaccine but ask that unless they are asked to, not to contact the NHS about a vaccine. Staff are working incredibly hard to vaccine as many people as possible but this is a marathon not a sprint and we will get to people as soon as we can.”  

Sonja Woodhouse, CEO, Carers Trust Heart of England: “Despite what has been a challenging time for households across the country, carers have continued to play a vital role in looking after the people they care about - whether collecting groceries and medicine for shielding family members or supporting someone with mental health problems during lockdown.

"We welcome the news that registered carers are now eligible to receive their COVID vaccine and we encourage local carers to have their vaccination to help protect the health and wellbeing of themselves and the people they care for.”

Young Carers Action Day - 16 March

Paint and party

For Young Carers Action Day on the 16 March we will be having a social media takeover where Young Carers can tell their stories or give anecdotes about their lives as young carers. You will also be able to access support too and you can join in on Facebook.

We will also be running a Paint and Party session for young carers on Zoom where there will music, chat and painting to give people a break and enable them to take some time out and try a different method of relaxation.

Young Carers activities

Rainbow in a jar

On 15 March we are running a Rainbow Memory Jar Session where young carers will create rainbow jars to contain their happy memories.

YC Discord

We will have our Discord Drop in sessions on Monday and Thursday, 5pm-6pm. Our activities have the aim of improved mental health.

What's on at Carers Trust Heart of England


Save the date: 10 March 

Gardening with Chris Collins!

Gardening is an excellent way to boost your health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically. 

Whether you have an outdoor garden or space for plant pots on your windowsill, tending to plants and flowers can help reduce stress and build self-esteem.

TV gardener, Chris Collins, whose appearances include Blue Peter, This Morning and BBC Breakfast, will be leading a series of five workshops for Coventry and Warwickshire carers which will cover topics such as ‘Looking after your plants’ to ‘Planting and caring for a tree’.

The sessions, taking place on Zoom, start on 10 March at 2pm for an hour and a half. Spaces are limited so act quickly to secure your place!

To book your place on the session or to find out more, please contact Carers Trust or call 024 7663 2972.

New - African and Caribbean carers group

African Caribbean group

Together we Can - Arabic carers group

A Carers Group for Arabic-speaking Carers.

The “virtual” Arabic Carers group provides an opportunity to meet other carers and share experiences. The group will be able to offer support, provide information, advice and guidance in a safe and relaxed manner. 

The session is run via Zoom and takes place every second Monday of the month. 

If you require any further details or need support with setting up Zoom, please call:

024 7663 2972  

We'd love for you to join us!

mental wellness

This free online Carers Mental Wellness workshop focuses on coping in a world with COVID-19, with tips on how to cope.

The workshop runs on Friday 12 March from 11am – 12noon.

Run by Nicola Benyahia, a qualified accredited member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists).

Nicola has worked in a variety of settings including charity agencies, G.P surgeries, schools and Further Education colleges as well as running her own private practice in Birmingham, where she counsels individuals, couples and families.

Are you experiencing an increase in stress and becoming overwhelmed with your emotions?

Sign up to our free online workshop, where working together we can address and make sense of thoughts and feelings you may be experiencing. Please call 024 7663 2972 for further information.

pinch pottery 2

Here at Carers Trust, we’ve got Ceramic Fever!

Are you looking for something to unleash your creative potential, like to chat with other like-minded people, and fancy a little art therapy?

Then please join us for our second Creative Carer Collection Workshop!

Our first Creative Carer Collective Pinch Pottery online workshop has been so popular we’ve been lucky enough to hold a second session. 

Sign up for our free online workshops, where expressing your creativity through therapeutic and relaxing artistic activities can help open up the mind and relieve you of outside worries and release stress. 

  • Tuesday 16 March 2 – 3:30pm: Pottery Creation
  • Tuesday 23 March 2 – 3:30pm: Paint and Decorate

Be sure you’re available to attend both. Spaces are limited. The workshop is free and materials will be posted out to carers once their place is confirmed.

Bookings must be confirmed by 1 March to ensure materials are sent in time.

To book on to either workshop, please email us or call 024 7663 2972 option 1. You will be provided with the Zoom link details, once your booking is confirmed.

As always, if you are new to using Zoom, our team will be happy to help.

Community testing in Coventry

Get tested

In order to understand the way COVID-19 is transmitted in communities and reduce its spread, community testing for Coronavirus is available for all Coventry residents, for anyone who is not showing symptoms of the virus.

The aim of testing people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms is to protect those most at risk, using rapid testing to speed up the process.

Testing sites across the city include:

  • Coventry Transport Museum
  • Indian Community Centre, Cross Road, Foleshill
  • Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre, Winston Avenue 
  • AT7 Centre, Bell Green Road
  • Alan Higgs Centre, Allard Way
  • Xcel Centre, Mitchell Avenue
  • Hagard Centre, Remembrance Road


No need to book. Just turn up. Results back in less than an hour.

Available: Monday - Friday: 8am - 6:30pm or Saturday and Sunday: 10am - 3:00pm

Whether you’re providing essential services or just want peace of mind, we would encourage you to get tested regularly to help reduce the spread of the virus in the city.

By taking the test you can make sure you are not passing the virus on to colleagues, members of the public or loved ones. Visit our website for more information.


Support for Carers of people with a learning disability


Learning Disabilities is hosting a series of webinars to help people keep informed and in touch during the COVID-19 outbreak. 


Vaccination process explained

Two new videos have been produced to help explain the vaccination process for people with a learning disability.

The first film is presented by Joanne Finney, Grapevine Trustee, where she talks about her experience as someone with Down’s Syndrome receiving their COVID-19 vaccine.

The second film explains the COVID-19 vaccination advice in Makaton.

Safe to talk

safe to talk

Are you worried about the risks of domestic abuse for yourself or someone you know?

We understand that staying at home might be particularly difficult for some people. 

Home is supposed to be the safest place for us all right now, but if you are experiencing domestic abuse then the advice to stay at home could be frightening.

If you or someone you know, whose family or partner is threatening them, controlling their behaviour or being violent, this is domestic abuse. If you need support or know someone who does visit or call 0800 111 4998.  

Review of children and young people's mental health crisis offer

PeopleToo have been commissioned to undertake a review of the children and young people 24/7 mental health crisis offer. They will be undertaking a lot of engagement over the next few weeks with children and young people, parent and carers, and professionals. PeopleToo have developed a survey link for each cohort of people:

They would really like to hear your views and opinions.

For more information regarding the PeopleToo review please visit our website.

Coventry and Warwickshire Public Health survey

cov and wark la

Coventry and Warwickshire (Public Health) are developing a joint mental health needs assessment to better understand mental wellbeing, support and care needs particularly in light of the impact of COVID-19.  The findings of the need’s assessment will inform future service provision and commissioning plans and the wider health and wellbeing strategies. Across the area NHS mental health services are receiving increased investment over the next three years as part of the national NHS long term plan priorities. Service developments will also be informed by the need’s assessment and the feedback from people living and working in Coventry and Warwickshire. A joint Coventry and Warwickshire survey is now live and will be open until the 26 March

Topics include:

  • Understanding wellbeing
  • Workplace wellbeing
  • Impact of COVID-19 on mental health and wellbeing
  • Wider determinants that may have impacted mental health and wellbeing
  • Service awareness and access
  • Alternative sources of support

To access the survey please visit the website. There is also an easy read version that can accessed.

TogetherAll - online mental health and wellbeing support



‘Togetherall Support Network’ is now available across the population of Coventry (aged 16+). Togetherall is an online mental health and wellbeing service which was established in 2007.

  • Togetherall is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on any device with an internet connection
  • Members join our community anonymously for support with a wide range of mental health and wellbeing issues, from anxiety, depression, and isolation, to relationship issues and lifestyle challenges.
  • Togetherall supports immediate and longer-term mental health or situational distress, enabling you to feel more in control of your emotional health

We are here to provide flexibility and choice and offer support to those who can’t/won’t access traditional support. We are also very complimentary to other interventions for MH, such as face to face therapy. 1 in 3 hadn’t sought support before coming to Togetherall.

Our philosophy of early intervention aims to improve the mental wellbeing of our members, providing them with the necessary tools and resources to manage their own journey to improving their mental health before they hit crisis point.

Joining the service is easy – we call this self-referral, providing no barriers to access, i.e. you don’t have to make yourself known that you need access to support, you simply visit our website and register using your postcode.

In addition to the community, you have the safety and accessibility of our Wall Guides who are all trained mental health professionals and are there to make sure everyone remains safe and supported. They are available 24/7/365.

Togetherall offers a range of activities that allow you to work through what's troubling you. From forums where people help each other to courses covering areas such as grief and loss as well as anxiety.

For more information or to register please visit their website, selecting ‘Register’, and click on the tile ‘My area is registered’, and then enter your postcode to start the registration process.

Healthwatch Survey


Unpaid carers in Coventry asked to share feedback on care following a year of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Carers have played a vital role to support their loved ones during COVID19 – but do you feel you have received enough support? Tell Healthwatch Coventry about your experiences of NHS and care services for you or your loved one.

Healthwatch Coventry is the local independent champion for health and social care. Our role is to make sure people in our local area are able to share their experiences and views about NHS and social care services. We then work with others to change services for the better. We are one of 152 local Healthwatch in England, supported by Healthwatch England. This Healthwatch network is working to gather the experiences of unpaid/family carers, so that those who run and plan services can hear from you.

Share your experience.

We want to encourage all local people to join Healthwatch Coventry, it’s free and there is no commitment, all you need to do is to fill in a simple form. This will enable you to receive regular updates and the option to take part in surveys from time to time if you feel you have information to share.

Find out more about Healthwatch Coventry.

feedback healthwatch

This month in Coventry Libraries

outdoor books

Now the nights are getting longer, even if you can’t get out, you can still enjoy the outdoors with a great selection of eBooks available from Coventry Libraries.

World Book Day Thursday 4 March – Don’t forget to look out for your £1 token from your school.

world book day

Find your next eBook/eAudiobook with this selection of the top titles from BorrowBox all available from Coventry Libraries.

Care Companion

Care Companion

Updates on Care Companion 

Care Companion has been updated recently to help carers get the most out of the website. We have simplified particular sections  and added useful tags within the ‘Help’ tab to make it easier for carers to search the most common questions. Have a look today!

Care Companion has over 1000 trusted resources, and more are being added all the time to provide unpaid carers with the support that they need in lockdown. To help carers and those whom they support throughout the pandemic, there is useful advice on how to manage low mood, virtually connect with others and find time within the day to take a short break. We have also uploaded new resources on women’s health, making nutritional choices and staying resilient.

Further information regarding Care Companion and register.

hands face space

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