Derbyshire Carers Association Blog

Welcome to the blog of Derbyshire Carers Association

About us

Derbyshire Carers Association was founded by Gerry Fryer in 1988 following circumstances which found him in the caring position as described by himself here.

Once he realised how little support there was for Carers Gerry aimed for and met his aspiration for Carer support provision.

With the help of some other Carers, Derbyshire Carers Association gained it’s first paid employee in 1989, this has now grown to over 30 dedicated and passionate employees as well as a large number of volunteers.



Archive by Date

  • NHS and long term conditions

    NHS and long term conditions

    The Government is investing £20 billion a year in the NHS as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

    Local organisations have now been asked to work together to develop their own plans, which will set out how the national plan will work across local areas.

    Have your say about the future of the NHS in our area.

    The public are being asked for their views on how support for long term conditions could be improved.

    Here is the link to the survey:

  • Amber Valley carers clinic

    Amber Valley carers clinic

    Derbyshire Carers are relaunching the Amber Valley carers clinic in a new location
    The Strutts, Belper on Thursday 4th April.

    Drop in for tea, cake & help shape the group.

    The support group will provide advice, activities and emotional support for carers.

    There will be a confidential carers clinic alongside the group providing carers assessments and reviews.

  • International Women's Day

    Founded in 1988, this organisation provides help and support to the sympathetic carers that aid the elderly, the disabled, and the addicts, offering advice for these carers, and recommendations for other helpful services. DCA hosts support groups at the Chaddesden Fire Station, the Royal Buildings on Victoria Street and the Roman Catholic Church on Uttoxeter Road.

    This event has been around for more than a century, having first began in Germany and neighbouring countries as a celebratory event, and later in Russia as a protest for gender equity.

    By 1975, the UN recognised International Women’s Day as an event, and is even considered a holiday in several countries you wouldn’t expect, including Angola, Cambodia, Eritrea, Laos, and Tajikistan.

    As an inspiration let’s look at what some of the female members of DCA do:

    Deb has been a veteran care worker for years, and now works as the operation manager.

    Helen often referred to as “Lovely Helen” is the civil and diligent manager.

    Nicky is the stalwart overseer of all aspects of administration in the four different offices.

    Katie is the highly motivated administrator, working as the engine of the company.

    Louise is a professional in finance, with a keen eye for detail.

    Janie is legendary for her soothing telephone manner, and ensures that the team is up to date with the relevant qualifications.

    Janis “The heartbeat” is the heart of DCA, with a massive amount of empathy an understanding, she’s a truly inspiring woman.

    For 2019, the theme is “balance for better”, which is about promoting women in the workplace. There’s been an increase of women in several industries, ranging from culinary to logistics, which is a far cry from a hundred years ago, where the idea of women filling these roles was seen as ludicrous.

    Other companies from all over the world are playing their part to make a contribution for IWD as well.
    AECOM, an international company that designs solutions to a variety of challenges, is working to increase the amount of women found in managerial roles by twice as much in the next twelve months, and even have more employed women for their Middle East, Indian, and African branches.

    British American Tobacco is using the day as an opportune moment to show off their female scientists—from toxicologists to sensory scientists—in the industry that design many of their alternatives to cigarettes found in almost fifty countries.

  • Open Auditions for performers with a learning disability

    Open Auditions for performers with a learning disability



    Open Auditions for performers with a learning disability

    14 May 2019, 10 – 4pm

    lEVEL are looking to meet people with a passion for performance who would be interested in creating new and exciting theatre for both learning disabled and mainstream audiences.

    Do you love to perform?
    Are you aged 18+?

    If so, come along to their open audition day on Tuesday 14 May. Workshops are free, informal and will give you a chance to meet the LEVEL team and see their beautiful arts centre.

    The audition day will run from 10 – 4pm. Attendance is completely free but please book in advance. Lunch will be provided along with copious amounts of hot drinks.

    If you would like to book your free place or have any questions for the team

    please email
    call them on 01629 734848

  • Support for Deaf women

    Support for Deaf women

    A local charity called Deaf-initely women, seeks to support deaf and hard of hearing women locally.

    They have a number of free sign language classes on offer which aim to give women who have hearing loss communication skills in sign language.

    See below for the two areas where they are running courses.

  • Guise and Grace Groups

    Guise and Grace Groups

    Paul Strachan coordinates Derby’s Guise Group (carer peer-support) and Grace group (for carers who are bereaved or adjusting to change as their loved one has entered residential care).

    These support groups take place on the last Wednesday of every month between 10.30am-12.30pm.

    Come along and enjoy a friendly chat or just relax, with free tea and coffee.

    A chance to get out of the house and meet new people.

    There is a lift for those with mobility issues and there are plenty of parking spots in the area.

    We have regular guest speakers and plans for trips to places such as Chatsworth.

    Activities including crafts, photographic courses and a book club are also being considered.

    You’ll receive a very warm welcome.

    If you’re interested in attending, please call Paul on 01332 200 002

    Derby Carers Group (Guise Group) enjoy a fun quiz at the city’s Cosy Club.

  • Carer Success Story

    Carer Success Story

    Sue Pratt is a Carer for her husband Ted who has been experiencing some age related difficulties with his breathing and mobility.

    As the couple were shopping they came across a stand for Derbyshire Carers Association in Carers week and agreed to have a visit.

    The home visit helped with planning the support for them as a couple, they had a chance to be referred for help and support after a bespoke Carers Assessment.

    Sue mentioned that her main hobby was photography, which she managed to pursue at a local community centre, this gives her time to relax and forget about her caring role. She enjoys the social side and learning more about taking great photographs.

    Sue has been helped to get a Carers budget which has helped her to pursue her hobby and to have some time away from the pressures of caring. It is a hobby she can pick up while her husband is resting, for example she is able to tinker on the computer with the photographs she has taken.

    On good days they have been out to visit local places of interest or the NEC photography exhibition.
    Having the support from Derbyshire Carers group at Swadlincote has made them feel supported, and at a recent event at the group Sue took her camera along to take some pictures of the group which she has had framed.

    She first came across Derbyshire Carers when she met one of our support workers Lisa on a stall in a supermarket, Lisa registered her with Derbyshire Carers and has done several visits to Sue with a view to seeing what help and support Sue needed.

    As a result of these conversations Lisa determined that Sue has a lifelong passion for photography. Lisa helped sue to get a Carers budget to pay for photography related equipment and to enable her to do a course that runs near to her house.

    Sue is grateful for the money and says that having a hobby helps her cope with the pressures of caring. When Ted has a rest Sue can tinker on the computer with her photographs which helps her day along.
    When Ted is well enough he takes Sue out to places to do some photography including a trip to the NEC photograph event.

    Sue now attends our support group and has used her skills in photography to photograph the group and produce some framed pictures for the group.

  • Derby County Collection

    Derby County Collection

    On Saturday 9th February Derbyshire Carers were invited to do a collection at Derby County Football Club for the Young Carers we support.

    Staff and volunteers (whom included some young carers) braved the cold to raise a whopping £625.99 for young carers.

    A big thank you to all the fans from both teams who donated.

    As part of the day Derby County generously gave us some free tickets for the game so that the volunteers could enjoy the match after the collection.

    And DCFC won 2-0 to complete the day

  • Health Watch Questionnaire

    Health Watch Questionnaire

    Healthwatch have a carers questionnaire, they are asking carers questions that they are using to gather feedback from people.
    If you know of anyone who would like to complete this, including yourself, please pass it on.

    contact Sharon Mellors, Healthwatch Engagement Officer South if you want more information

    Suite 14, Riverside Business Centre Foundry Lane, Milford Derbyshire, DE56 0RN

    Tel: 01773 880786 Mob: 07943505261

    Click here to download the questionnaire

    Completed questionnaire’s can be sent to Healthwatch Derbyshire, Suite 14, Riverside Business Centre Foundry Lane, Milford Derbyshire, DE56 0RN

  • Carers in Employment

    Carers in Employment

    There are a complex set of challenges when supporting Carers to remain in or return to the workforce, but the Carers in Employment Project has highlighted the importance of raising the profile of working Carers as a group in the workplace.

    Below is an article published by the BBC highlighting the huge demands of a caring role whilst being employed.

    BBC article

    Our Carers in Employment project will help both employers and employees to benefit from using existing opportunities, such as the right to request flexible working.

    The project has also shown that initiatives like this one can add value to the working practices of SME’s.

    This is because they are less likely than larger employers to have established HR policies and practices to support working Carers.

    The project will raise employer awareness of the realities facing working Carers, encourage more supportive workplace cultures and reduced conflict between staff over work adjustments for Carers.

    Advocacy and support work services provided by our project will also help working Carers cope better at crucial ‘tipping points’ or domestic crises that otherwise were likely to have had a more detrimental effect on maintaining the balance of care and work.

    Click here to find out more about the project

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