As part of Making Carers Count (a pan-Sussex project supporting carers from diverse backgrounds) we hosted a carer get together at Stanmer Park in Brighton.
The Centre for Ecotherapy is a community space that provides nature-based therapies and opportunities to de-stress. With many carers feeling stressed as a result of their caring role, this trip out provided a welcome respite from the day-to-day responsibilities of being an unpaid family and friend carer.
We started the day sitting around the warm, freshly lit fire pit with a cup of tea and finding out about each other’s backgrounds. Aside from English, there was a range of languages spoken by those within the group, including Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Spanish and Tamil. To help those for whom English is not a first or fluent language, we had arranged for bilingual interpreters to join us to ensure that everyone attending had a voice and an opportunity to share.
Photo Caption: Carers sitting under the outdoor wooden hut and around the fire pit
Whilst everyone got to know each other, Liz, our host and facilitator for the day, had set up some pots. Cooking over the fire pit was a delicious and nutritious soup made with carrots, potatoes, zucchinis, tomatoes, kale, and other vegetables grown in the nearby allotment.
As the soup bubbled away, carers were guided around the woods by Liz, with the environment providing a connection to nature. The fading colours of the leaves and trees around us set a calm and comforting atmosphere.
Photo Caption: hearty soup simmering on the fire pit
Along the walk in the woods, carers were encouraged to pick up fallen twigs, leaves and berries that they could use to create their own collages to take home. For some carers, this was their favourite part of the day
It’s important for us as a pan-Sussex partnership to hear all our carer voices and to deliver an equitable offer of support to carers from all backgrounds. So, if you are a carer from an ethnically diverse background or heritage, or English is not your first or fluent language, then please consider joining our Sussex Carers Reference Group. Please email your interest to us at the Brighton Carers Centre at email@example.com with the subject line ‘Making Carers Count’.