An organisation that helps young people who look after relatives, and another that helps people with dementia, are the charities being supported by the new Mayor of West Lancashire and her Consort.
The Mayor of West Lancashire, Councillor Nikki Hennessy, and her husband Paul will raise funds for Lancashire Young Carers and the Alzheimer’s Society in West Lancashire during the mayoral year.
A programme of fundraising events will be planned over the next 12 months to raise funds for these very worthy causes.
Councillor Hennessy, said: “Paul and I will be working with our charity committee to raise as much money as we can for our local charities.
“Our young carers are our unsung heroes. From a young age, carers are faced with adult responsibilities. They do a phenomenal job helping sick and vulnerable family members on top of doing domestic chores and household jobs.”
Lancashire Young Carers is funded by Barnardo’s, Lancashire County Council and local health authorities. Barnardo’s delivers the Lancashire Young Carers service in West Lancashire and works with children under the age of 18 who look after family members with difficulties ranging from physical and mental health issues to drug and alcohol addictions
Jenny Ashcroft, Children’s Services Manager for Barnardo’s, said “Our young carers are focussed on their caring responsibilities which can mean their school or college work is affected and they may not have enough time to see friends or someone to talk to. Barnardo’s helps young carers find a balance so that they can lead as normal a life as possible.”
Young Carers have a named worker who is there to support them and provide information and advice. There are different services available and referrals can be made by an individual, family members, schools and statutory bodies. More information can be found at barnardo's (external link) .
The Central and West Lancs office of the Alzheimer’s Society offers vital services to help people living with dementia and their families. In 2014/15 it provided over 300 people with dementia in West Lancashire, or their carers, with a one to one support visit.
The charity has a dementia adviser for West Lancashire who gives people with dementia information about what help they can receive and what benefits they are entitled to.
It also runs courses for relatives of people living with dementia, where they can find out more about how to communicate with people with memory problems as well as important information about benefits.
There are peer support groups and the popular monthly dementia cafes run by the charity in Ormskirk, Skelmersdale and Parbold offering people with dementia the chance to get out of the house and enjoy fun activities such as singing and playing cards. The cafes are very popular. More information can be found at lifewithdementia (external link)
Kathleen Storton, services manager, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as one of the Mayor’s charities for the coming year. The services we provide are very important to the people who need us and the funds raised will help us continue that work. This will also help raise our profile and increase awareness of dementia.”