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Webinar 6 - Let’s Talk About…Giving Carers a Break

Webinar Date: 26 September 2023

Carers: The Big Conversation - Webinar Series

In our sixth and final webinar in our current series Carers: The Big Conversation, Anil and Chris spoke to Kim Whitmore, Jo Chopra and Don Williamson about the need to give unpaid carers a break from their caring responsibilities.

Kim joined us from the United States, where she is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at Marquette University, leading a programme of research focused on supporting family caregivers. She is also Director of The BREAK Exchange, an international group of researchers, respite providers, agencies, and individuals who are committed to building a culture of evidence-based respite. Jo is a writer and the co-founder and executive director at Latika, a non-profit organisation in India that works with disabled children and their families. And Don is the Chief Executive of Shared Care Scotland, a leading national carer organisation in Scotland, whose primary focus is to improve policies and practices related to short breaks and respite care provision throughout the country.

During the webinar, Anil spoke to Kim, Jo and Don about why respite and short breaks are so important to both the carer and the person they care for, and what benefits they bring. They also talked about the key factors that contribute to successful respite. There was a discussion about how respite looks in different contexts around the world, and we were pleased to also get input from our attendees about this and what respite means to them.

The panel also discussed the challenges and barriers that people face in getting respite from caring, how these can be addressed and what more needs to be done to advance respite for unpaid carers. They ended with each putting forward a call to action, something that could and should be done to promote and support respite for unpaid carers.

We also shared a video from one of our Community Caring Centres in Nepal, run by our local charity partner Self-help Group for Cerebral Palsy (SGCP), showing the role these centres play and the impact they have on the lives of unpaid carers and their families.

It was an insightful and inspiring session with some great questions from the attendees, and we are so grateful to our panel, everyone who joined us for the session, and to the carers, children and staff at the Chitrapur Community Caring Centre in Nepal for sharing their experiences with us.