Many Wolverhampton residents who provide unpaid care are not accessing the support available to them, perhaps because they don’t see themselves as carers as they feel they are simply supporting someone else who needs them because of their disability or illness.
The pilot project with Mobilise is using social media and digital marketing to help to find and identify 4,000 ‘unpaid carers’, connecting them immediately with others in a similar position, and providing relevant, timely support. The service is free and run by carers, for carers.
Becky Wilkinson, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Director of Adult Social Services, said: We recognise how important unpaid carers are. Partners, parents, children, relatives and friends are critical in supporting their loved ones, and also our health and social care system.
“If you provide unpaid care and support to a family member, friend or neighbour who needs extra help because they have a disability, illness, mental health problem or are simply growing older, then you are a carer.
“We want to identify more carers and give them the help they need to carry out their vital caring role. Mobilise is a great way for people to connect and receive support from others who can relate to their similar and shared experiences.”
Suzanne Bourne, Co-founder and Head of Carer Support at Mobilise, added: “There are carers out there who may need advice but who are not currently accessing it. Creating a Mobilise carer peer support network in Wolverhampton will see an improvement in their wellbeing, meaning they are less likely to reach breakdown and require emergency assistance.”
Lee, 55, a family carer who supports his sister who is a stroke survivor and her son who has psychosis, said: “Mobilise is unique – real people with real experiences are there to help make a real difference in how I support my loved ones who have health challenges. Everyone who cares for a loved one would do well to connect with Mobilise."
The Mobilise service is free to Wolverhampton residents and can be accessed via Mobilise.
It offers regular email support packages with information, practical advice and entertainment, virtual cuppas for people needing some social contact and one-to-one coaching support for anybody with a knotty problem they’d like to work out.
Mobilise adds to the extensive help already available from Wolverhampton’s Carer Support Team, which provides practical information to ensures that carers are supported in their role, have access to the help they need and are able to claim the benefits they are entitled to.