Posted: October 6, 2020


Time Out for Carers is an invaluable group for those within Hinckley and Bosworth requiring support as carers.

The group has been running now for just over 4 years, after starting in May 2016. We spoke to Tracy Underwood, one of the founders of the group, to discuss how the group adapted after lockdown.

We are now 6 months on from the initial Covid-19 Lockdown, how did Time Out for Carers manage to adapt to the restrictions?

This has been a very difficult time for carers especially with most having to shield those they look after themselves with little or no extra support. The group is a lifeline. We have had to adapt from face to face sessions to taking the group on the online platform, Zoom. The group phone has also become the first point of contact for those not online. We have always had a closed Facebook page so this has become the day to day way of contact checking in with others. Supporting each other through this difficult time. A safe space.

 Were there any particular challenges?

Yes technology has been a difficult one all of us have had to get to grips with zoom!!! None of us had heard of before Covid. It’s difficult as it’s time limited. This is something we need to look to funding for to get a monthly account so we can make better use off in the new normal.

Lockdown has demonstrated that when people are united by a common crisis, extraordinary things can happen in a very short time-frame. Can you give an example of how one of your beneficiaries has benefited from your support?

The lockdown has shown how isolated carers really are. However it’s led to the group coming more together online it’s also forced us to look together at how we can support each other. There have been many examples of how we have had to change the way we support each other; from offering to collect medication for a group member and contacting other support agencies involved to make sure people received food. When restrictions changed we were able to meet up at social distance in the park to just talk about how we are feeling. Realising it’s the little things that can make a difference. People sharing their tips on how they coping, all encouraging each other to say we struggling. The support has been invaluable.

You have recently collaborated on an art project, please tell us about this and how it came about?

The art project was originally discussed before lockdown as something the group may want to do together. Art therapy has been something a lot of the group members have benefited from. It allows time completely away from caring to learn a new skill but, also to be part of something.  With lockdown in place, it meant no classes so, we agreed to try them online. This has worked to a point, but hasn’t been without its issues. It has been difficult at times to have no time away from those we care for, as the usual face to face classes gave us that respite. Other issues were not being free from interruptions and not everyone had access to art supplies. However, the group wanted to complete the art project as it gave members something to be part of for their own interpretation of a real sense of coming together, even though apart.

It will prove that despite lockdown when times have been endlessly hard, something can be created which is positive. A coming together, even though apart. We all now cannot wait to see what this will look like once it’s put together and hopefully we should see the finished result it in early October. 

The Time Out for Carers Art Project is currently being displayed at Next Generation until January when it will move on to the Atkins Building. 

Art example

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