Two women sitting in wooden chairs at an allotment
Margaret and her friend (also called Margaret), at a Carers Breaks session.

This Carers Week, we want to celebrate carers for the contribution they make to people’s lives across Portsmouth and raise awareness of the support available for carers in the city.

People like Margaret, whose husband had a stroke. She began accessing support through Portsmouth Carers Service.

The service holds Carers Breaks sessions, where carers can enjoy a break from their caring roles in a friendly and relaxed space.

Margaret said:

“When my husband had a stroke, it just changed our lives completely. We don’t have people come to the house and I feel as though we are quite isolated. Coming to the Carers Service, which at first was quite difficult to do, has opened up a little bit of a new world for me.

I’ve always been really outgoing, but since my husband had the stroke, I just didn’t want to go out. Coming to the Carers Breaks cookery sessions has been brilliant. It’s really nice to be able to relax and meet other people who are in the same situation as you.

To anyone who’s caring for somebody at home and hasn’t reached out for any support, I would say go for it – you’ll be made very welcome.”

Portsmouth Carers Service provide help and advice for unpaid carers living in postcodes PO1-PO6. Some carers need someone to talk to, while others may need help getting a break, looking after their own wellbeing, or practical advice and training.

People who care for someone often don’t realise they are a ‘carer’. A carer is anyone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health condition or who needs extra help as they grow older.

Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, Health & Care at Portsmouth City Council, said:

“Unpaid carers are at the heart of our health and care system and they make a massive contribution to families and communities in Portsmouth every day. Carers are advocates, clinicians, activity coordinators, pharmacists, cooks, drivers, beauticians and nutritionists.

For some people, being a carer can be isolating and difficult at times, which is why it’s important that carers across the city know of the support available – whether they need information, advice, or simply a listening ear, Portsmouth Carers Service is here for them.”

For more information about Portsmouth Carers Service, call 023 9285 1864 to talk to the team.