Staffordshire Carer’s Hub

Ok, so my last blog post The New Normal was pretty dark! It was a journey back in time to the rollercoaster ride that is the acceptance and adaptation to caring for a disabled child.

Since Grayson’s diagnosis we have built a wonderful support network around us, with the right therapies, sensory understanding and respite services. So, happily, we are no longer in that dark place.

With that in mind, I want to take a moment to recognise some of the people, organistations and services that have helped us move away from it. So here it is, number one in an occasional series of posts, recognising the outstanding work done in the local Staffordshire area, to assist those with special needs children, in living – as best we can – a normal, fulfilling life.

These are Lindsey’s Local Heroes!

We are incredibly lucky to live in Stafford, our little county town, thirty minutes north of Birmingham. Our experience of local autism services has been second to none. The piece of paper confirming Grayson’s diagnosis has opened so many doors; doors that provide access to a range of services that truly help enrich not only Grayson’s life, but the lives of the whole family.

The benefits of fabulous aftercare and ongoing support services are like being surrounded by an army of superheroes. I’ll introduce you, in turn to each of my Local Heroes, starting with Staffordshire Carers Hub.

Both Verona and I are registered with the Hub as Carers (Verona as a young carer which children can be assessed for from age 5).

Upcoming Autism Carer’s Roadshow

I self referred us to the service and we each have a keyworker who checks in with us regularly to see how we are coping.

Verona attends monthly ‘Hub Clubs” where she learns things like yoga and mindfulness, first aid and badge making. She loves these sessions.

She went on her first young carers respite short break with the hub in May this year. She went to Wales for a three day adventure, returning to us able to ride a bike without stabilisers (something that had been difficult to get out and teach her with Grayson in tow). She had an amazing time on this much needed respite break.

Here she was, excited and raring to go

Aswell as learning to ride a bike, Verona and 11 other young carers visited a farm, bounced on trampolines, baked cakes and just had carefree, selfish, feral fun.

This summer break, Verona got to choose up to three different day trip activities. She goes to the first one, Archery and Laser Quest tomorrow and then her second will be a Cinema Club event. Respite for siblings is so important and Verona’s emotional health is right up there with our top priorities.

For myself, I have a sounding board, a keyworker at the other end of the phone when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I have access to some courses and relaxation classes and activities.

The Carers Hub team really are all warm smiles, good coffee and compassion. They were my obvious choice to feature as the first of my local heroes.

If you are a carer and you have not yet explored how the Carers Hub can help improve your quality of life, please do reach out.

Until next time, when I’ll be talking Chuckle Productions, take care folks.

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