On March 23rd 2020, the UK went into lockdown. Stepping into the unknown was a little worrying but some amazing things happened:

  • We had a sunny bank holiday
  • Colonel Tom raised over £31million for the NHS
  • We discovered TikToK (some us endured injuries trying out intricate dance moves)
  • EVERYBODY tried out a new hairstyle and some, a new colour called ‘natural
  • For Carers’ Week PROPS NE drove over 250 miles in celebration of our carers.

Carers’ Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring and recognisingthe contribution that carers make to families and communities throughout the UK.

For PROPS NE it’s a time to give our carers a little ‘me’ time. This year other family members joined in, and, we extended it by a couple of weeks.

The PROPS NE ‘Respite’ team made up and delivered painting kits, tray bake packages and even afternoon tea to carers across Newcastle and North Tyneside.

On June 10th, 12 carers linked up with our artist in residence, Katie, and other carers to paint pebbles as bumble bees and lady birds.

“Both myself and my son enjoyed painting the stones. It was lovely to spend quality time together whilst doing something creative. The virtual aspect was brilliant, it allowed everyone to join in and brought people together that may be feeling very isolated during these unprecedented times.”

24 carers and their family members on June 17th ventured into the kitchen to create delicious, but not so slimming, Mars Bar cakes. (Nobody was counting calories that day)

“Just want to thank you for the beautifully wrapped and presented Mars bar cake ingredients. I made it with my youngest grandchild. I thought it was a lovely and extravagant treat.”

And on June 24th, 35 of our carers put their feet up and indulged in afternoon tea which was delivered straight to their door.

Thank you for my afternoon tea, it was such a lovely treat and much appreciated. It really made me feel that someone cared about me. Definitely had a positive effect on my mood. Life in lockdown with an addict has been incredibly tough but PROPS have been there every week and more for me.

“Thank you so much for all the support you give.”

Well done everybody who took part. And for those who missed it, PROPS NE has more respite opportunities coming up throughout the year, your family intervention worker will let you know when these are.

Helen Thompson.