CARERS week was marked in Bridgend by a special event organised by Bridgend Carers Centre which brought together a number of organisations able to offer help and advice.

This was staged at Brocastle Manor which is run by Hafodcare which jointly staged the event. It also reinforced the idea that care homes can be centres of other communal activity, making caring a natural part of any community not a separate and isolating experience.

Among those attending was AM Suzy Davies who is the Shadow           Cabinet Secretary for Social Services. She said that most of us will become a carer at some point in our lives – usually for a parent, sibling or partner – and that early information was what people wanted when they first found themselves in a position where they had become either carers or cared for.

She praised the organisers for bringing together such a variety of organisations who all offer help in different ways to carers. They included Carers Wales, the Alzheimer’s Society, Bridgend Mental Health Carers, Stroke Association and Macmillan.

Welsh Conservative Mrs Davies said: “The value of the work done by unpaid carers annually in Wales is about £8 billion – equivalent to half of the Welsh Assembly’s budget,

“As we face a future where more and more people are living longer, the caring challenge is becoming more acute. Political parties will have their own views on how this might best be met but there is also a growing consensus that working together and being led by the voices of carers and the care-for themselves has to be the core of any way forward.

“Hats off to Bridgend Carers, not just for the direct support they give, but for helping us understand that if we do not support carers in the way they identify they need it, then any system will fail, however good the intentions.”

Entertainment was provided at the event by Cor Merched Cwn Llynfi conducted by Paul Deenik and accompanied by Laura Deenik.