Just Ask!
Suffolk Carers Matter has come about from a mixture of carers, charities, health organisations and community groups in Suffolk wanting to do more and something different.

We are fully embraced with understanding that a carer’s life varies each day and the challenges faced/need for support can come any time of day; morning, noon or night!

We’re jam-packing our support online here, across other social media @Suffolk_Carers and In The Community. It’s growing and growing, with more becoming involved and welcomed.

One of the key parts to Suffolk Carers Matter, is helping carers who may not have the time to find something out or need support and are not sure where to go; Ask us and we’ll help.

We know what it is like as a carer, many of us here are one too.

11th June 2018
Who Cares for the Bereaved Carers?
According to BBC News today there are 6.5 million people in the UK caring for loved ones. So what happens when these loved ones die? As well as the grief of losing that person, carer’s are suddenly devoid of the caring role that may have consumed their lives for months, even years. Carer’s say that a lot of the time support just falls away after their cared for dies and this can compound the grief further.

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Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing. Everyone is talking about it but what exactly is it? And who exactly prescribes it?

What is social prescribing?

Social Prescribing focuses on the non-medical aspect of health and is a way of linking people to a range of non-clinical services in their area. It is person-centered and person-led.

Who are social prescribers?

Social prescribers or link workers are non-medical professionals who have had training in life coaching. They don’t prescribe the solution but they do provide the space and opportunity for people to really think about what they need and what could help them achieve that. This could be a social activity, a yoga class, membership at the library, whatever that person needs.

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ME cause of death
Last Friday (18th May) it was confirmed by a coroner that ME had contributed to the cause of young Merryn Crofts death. Merryn developed symptoms of ME at age 15 and after battling the illness for several years she died on 23rd May 2017, days after her 21st birthday.

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Good To Know

If you have a free bus pass but are unable to use the bus due to mobility, disability, age or other practical difficulties then Suffolk On Board are giving you the option to relinquish your bus pass

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The Pod

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Natural ways to manage stress and anxiety

*the advice here is not intended to be a replacement for medical advice and prescribed medication should be used until otherwise directed by a GP. These ideas are intended to reduce stress and anxiety levels on a day to day basis.

  1. Get outside

Fresh air is so beneficial to your health and wellbeing, and can really help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. We spend more time indoors than ever and this has such a major effect on not only our physical health, but our mental health too. Exposing your lungs to fresh air and your senses to the smell of flowers and plants increases oxygen and serotonin levels in the body, which in turn contributes to lowering stress levels and increasing feelings of calm, happiness and relaxation. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed then get outside and go for a walk. The benefits will really help to boost how you’re feeling and time away to think really helps with clarity and reducing anxiety.

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A Shed Load of Help

The Chicken Shed is a local Community Café based in Fordham, Cambridgeshire. As well as weekly coffee mornings hosted by various charities, The Chicken Shed also runs support evenings; these have included subjects such as Mental Health, Bereavement and Epilepsy. This year they are going to try something different- a support event, ‘A Shed Load of Help’ where lots of different charities and organisations can come along. It will take place in the beautiful garden of The Chicken Shed on Thursday 21st June, the longest and hopefully sunniest day of the year!

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Free Creative Sessions for Adult Carer's


Suffolk Artlink are offering Creative Sessions for Adult Carers. All sessions are FREE and all travel can be reimbursed. There are currently 3-4 places in Lowestoft, no need to sign up to every session, just come when you can. It is a lovely group! The next session is Thursday 28th June with further sessions happening roughly every 4 weeks, always on a Thursday. For more info please contact Kasia Don-Daniel, Project Development Officer on 01986 873955.

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Funding for Art Classes in Bury St Edmunds
Gatehouse charity in Dettingen Way has been granted funding by the Suffolk Community Foundation to run a series of creative workshops. The weekly classes will cover card making, mosaics and silk painting to groups of 12-15 people.

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Arthritis Care Awareness Week 14th-21st May
‘ I wanted to explain that at any given age you can be diagnosed with this illness. I was diagnosed with JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) when I was 1 years old and now at 18, I feel more confident with this subject.

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Quick Food For Carers

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EHC Plans

EHCP’s- What are they? How can you get one? What do they mean?

We’ve come across many Parent Carers who have concerns about their child’s education. The Children and Families Act secures the presumption of mainstream education in law. This basically means that every child has the right to mainstream education unless it is proved that their needs outweigh what a mainstream school can reasonably give.

So, what is an EHCP?

EHCP stands for Education, Health and Care Plan. It is a legal document that outlines a child or young person’s special educational, health and social care needs. The Plan will detail the extra help that the child/young person will receive in order to fulfil their potential and achieve what they want.

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Quick Food For Carers


  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 200g honey
  • 400g porridge oats
  • 50g dried fruit (optional)



Heat oven to 180C and grease and line a baking tin.

Melt butter, sugar and honey in big saucepan and then remove from heat. Stir in the oats (and fruit) before pouring into the tin, aim for 2cm thickness.

Bake for 20 mins and then cool completely before eating – although flapjacks warm are mighty tasty.

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Me Time

We had our second Meet-Up Monday on the 11th June, it was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed speaking to all who attended in the sunny grounds of Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. We had five people and an adorable toddler attend as well as our staff, listening to what they had to say about their caring roles was fantastic. We talked about issues such as bereavement support, caring groups in remote locations and education and courses. These meet-ups are a brilliant way to meet others who are caring, or who support someone who is caring as well as being able to ask questions of us here at Suffolk Carers Matter.

In future we are going to be venturing to other Meet-Up Mondays in existence to partner with them and support hidden carers in Suffolk. We will aim to keep you posted on here and FB as to where we are going to be. If you would like us to come to a location nearer you, as always Just Ask!

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Thursday 7th June 2018
FestABLE: The UK's first ever specialist learning festival
On Saturday 2nd June, FestABLE took place at National Star College in Cheltenham. It is the first time a festival dedicated to specialist learning has been staged in the UK. There were all the usual aspects to a festival such as live music and chill out rooms and it was all fully accessible. Other features of the day included the country’s only wheelchair accessible hot air balloon and the opportunity to play with eye-gaze controlled computer games. There were also sessions on SEND reform, early autism intervention, EHC plans and removing barriers to achievement.

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What would you rant about?
If you could rant at someone for one minute about your caring role what would you say? We know being a carer is a huge privilege and hugely positive. But we are only human and if you have something that rankles you; dealing with services, the ignorance of passersby, the sleep deprivation. Whatever it is we would love to hear it. Please do send us your rants!


This Weeks...RANT!
Communication is key, isn’t that what we are always told? As a carer for my elderly grandmother I seem to be constantly liaising between different people who don’t seem to talk to each other! Ever since my Gran significantly deteriorated in the summer of 2017 I can’t tell you the amount of chasing information or confirming plans that I have made with GP’s, Pharmacies, Hospital Ward Managers, Social Workers, Care Co-ordinators, the list goes on

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Emotional First Aid
The PhD psychologist and keynote speaker Guy Winch has published a book,  ‘Emotional First Aid’. His TEDTalk focuses on ‘Why we all need to practice emotional first aid’, point being that we need to look after our emotional health as much as we would our physical health. 

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Good To Know

The teenage brain…

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News & Media

Tessa Jowell, ‘A Lasting Legacy’

Monday 14th May

The MP Baroness Tessa Jowell died on Saturday 12th May from brain cancer, aged 70.

Her death has led to Theresa May confirming that the government will double their investment for brain cancer research to £40m. Cancer Research UK will also contribute £25m to the Dame Jowell Brain Cancer Research Mission.

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This Weeks...


‘I’ve always felt like an alien, now I know why.’

This was the headline of last week’s iPM show on Radio 4, a programme that focuses on listener’s life experiences and they are always captivating and eye-opening. This latest episode was certainly that, telling the story of a 50 year old man who had just discovered he had Asperger’s Syndrome.

After regaling his traumatic school life he talked about meeting his wife and forming friendships and all the challenges this involved; how exhausting and overwhelming he has found it over the years to read social situations and work out how to engage. On the plus side he talked about how his Asperger’s makes him a great husband and father, fun, creative and truthful.

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Suffolk star in Autism's Got Talent
Jack Mitchell, 21, from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk performed as one of the finalists in Autism’s Got Talent that took place at The Mermaid Theatre in London on Sat 12th May. Jack performed his own song ‘Where The Poppies Fall’, also playing his acoustic guitar. Jack is currently studying music at West Suffolk College.

The annual event was organised by AnnaKennedyOnline ‘forging a path to autism awareness’.

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