Introduction

Carers Week is an annual campaign that aims to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face, and recognise the contributions they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

The theme of this year’s carers week is making caring visible and valued. There are over 6.5 million carers in the UK, we want to highlight the experiences of some of the carers who we work with. We chatted to them about their experience as a carer, whether they feel they get enough support and the difference bOunceT has made to them and their families’ life.

The first carer we spoke to was Erica Burrows. Her twins, Matthew and a Ava, have been coming to bOunceT for some time now and we appreciate her sharing her story!

How long have you been a carer?

I have been a carer for my 8-year-old twins since they were diagnosed 5 years ago.

How has being a carer impacted your life?

Due to the twin’s complex needs and lack of sleep my wife and I had to reduce our hours at work to part-time so that we could both manage the kids but unfortunately due to the day/back shifts that we had to work-life was too difficult to manage. We did approach our work to try and work dayshift but they were not willing to help in any way so we both had to give work up for the sack of the kids and also our mental health.

Do you feel the support you receive as a carer is enough?

Respite is a way for us to refresh and take some time out. We have never had any problem with this support and social work have always been really good with us. As for support for the kids I feel that more is need from CAMHS, OT and speech and language, we never really hear from them and we seem to chase them up all the time. There is not enough money being put into kids with complex needs, I feel that children like my daughter Ava really need 1 to 1 support at all times and this is something that she doesn’t get.

Since coming to bOunceT, do you feel that our support has had a positive impact on you and your family’s health and wellbeing?

We have seen a massive change in the children since starting with bounce, both the kids are building strength up in their legs, practicing with their balance and confidence and it has been amazing to see, especially with Matthew he can now ride a bike with stabilizers on it with confidence. Ava runs down the corridor every time she realises where she is going and has the best time. We absolutely love how it puts a massive smile on her face when she is their it is something that can be rare with Ava, also its only her and Matthew so she doesn’t have to worry about it being busy.

Because social work fund this also it makes a big difference in our finances due to not working and it help with the kid’s muscles, this is something that is very difficult to do in the house. Equipment that has been given to us also has been amazing the kids use all of it all the time and again we didn’t have to worry about the money for this.

Bounce is the best thing that the kids attend and we can’t thankyou enough for helping us build strength and confidence with them and look forward to many more years spent with you guys and what the future brings for you and all the kids with additional needs.

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