Two families who have received vital support from the Pear Tree Fund while caring for loved ones have spoken of their gratitude and urged others in a similar situation not to be afraid to ask for help.
Lin Davies and Tania Burnett have shared their stories during Carers Week, which runs until Sunday (13 June) and aims to raise awareness of the huge contribution which unpaid carers make. Both have received support from the Pear Tree Fund to help them manage while they were looking after family members.
The charity arranged for a carer to sit with Lin’s husband Paul overnight to give her some respite so that she could benefit from a good night’s sleep. She also regularly speaks to a counsellor and has received complementary therapies at the Pear Tree Centre, the charity’s base in Halesworth, as well as attending socially-distanced support groups.
“I really cannot praise and thank the charity enough,” said Lin. “They arranged for someone to sit with Paul a few times so that I could get a good night’s sleep, for which I was incredibly grateful. I felt so lucky and it really did help me, as did chatting to the counsellor.
“I have found attending groups at the Pear Tree Centre really useful as just talking to other people in a similar situation is a big help. It is also nice to feel that perhaps, just by listening, it is a help to others.”
Tania’s family received support as they cared for her dad Pip Knights (pictured below with wife Pauline), who had Parkinson’s and sadly passed away just before Christmas. As with Lin, the Pear Tree Fund arranged for someone to stay overnight so that Tania’s mum Pauline could get some rest, and have also offered her emotional support following her husband’s death.
“The Pear Tree Fund have been absolutely brilliant,” said Tania (pictured below). “They stepped in to organise someone to sit with Dad, which gave Mum a little rest and respite, while staff from the charity have also been spending time with Mum since my Dad passed away. Having someone outside of the family to talk to has really helped her – it has built her up again and helps her to feel more positive.
“The Pear Tree Fund is an amazing charity and we cannot thank them enough. I would highly recommend them to others in a caring role and would encourage people to get in touch to find out more about the support which is available.”
The Pear Tree Fund is holding a coffee and cake drop-in to thank unpaid carers for their commitment at the Pear Tree Centre in Halesworth today (Wednesday) from 10am to 2pm. A range of complementary therapies, such as reiki, hand massage and reflexology, will also be available.
Kevin Vaughan, chief executive of the Pear Tree Fund, said: “Carers play a valuable, yet challenging role, which helps to reduce pressure on health and social care services. That is why it is so important that we do what we can to support them.
“Caring for someone can often feel physically and mentally isolating and can impact our self-esteem, sleep and eating habits. Being able to spend time away from a caring role while talking to others in a similar situation can really help.
“We would encourage unpaid carers who feel like they could benefit from a chat or other support to get in touch with us and see if we can help.”
To find out more about the support offered by the Pear Tree Fund or to donate to the charity, call 01986 899655, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.peartreefund.org