Firstly, let me introduce myself; I’m Nikki, the Carers Befriending Co-ordinator here at Carers Leeds. Although this is a relatively new project I have been around for a few years now and been fortunate enough to have also worked on the Young Adult Carer and Dementia Carer support teams.
Recently I had the honour of meeting none other than Prince Harry at the Leeds Leads: Encouraging Happy Young Minds event. This inspiring event was organised by The Leeds Community Foundation. For those that are not aware, their Leeds Fund has enabled us to have a Carers Befriending Project. The event gave Carers Leeds the opportunity to showcase the services offered by our dedicated team of staff and also by our passionate volunteers, not only to His Royal Highness, but also to leading members of the business community (some of whom are carers themselves and receive our support).
‘Carers Leeds are fantastic. They have supported my wife and I don’t know what we would have done without the (dementia) training course she has been on’
Both His Royal Highness and local business leaders were very interested in hearing how many carers have issues with their own mental health as a result of their caring role and how we support those carers. We were also able to speak to businesses about the prevalence of carers in the workplace and the importance of offering appropriate timely support.
I can honestly say that this has to be one of the highlights of my career so far and we are humbled that Carers Leeds were invited to be a part of something that will be so key to our wonderful City going forward.
‘I have just met some of the organisations you (Leeds Fund) have supported; they are working across such a broad range of groups from young people coping with the stresses of life and school, women facing domestic abuse, the LGBT community and those caring for loved ones; each group requiring a unique kind of support.
It is this kind of dedicated support which not only helps people to tackle their personal challenges but enables them to go on and flourish. If we invest in supporting our young people now, they will be better placed to succeed in all areas of their lives from work to family and in their communities.
I want to congratulate you all on what you have achieved so far and encourage you to redouble your efforts – in the years to come it will be well worth the investment.’ HRH Prince Harry