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

  • Free tickets for Carers and their family to Derby Book Festival: Create Your Own Happy

    Free tickets for Carers and their family to Derby Book Festival:  Create Your Own Happy

    Friday 31st May – Free tickets for Carers and their family to Derby Book Festival:

    Create Your Own Happy at Deda Theatre Déda, Chapel Street, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3GU

    Based on her book Create Your Own Happy, join author Becky Goddard-Hill for a fun, interactive session aimed to give your children some ideas and effective tools to help them increase their happiness and enhance their self-esteem!

    They will learn how to shape their lives and the lives of other around them, giving them confidence for the everyday challenges of life and school.

    Age guidance:
    recommended for ages 7-13 and their parents.

    Booking essential ring 01773 833 833 to book a place

  • Living with a long term condition

    Living with a long term condition

    A participant from Erewash said;
    ‘It opened my eyes to other paths and ways of improving my quality of life’
    Local GP said;
    ‘I have had excellent feedback when I have referred people and they have all benefited in some way from attending the course’


    People from across Derbyshire with a long-term health condition are substantially benefiting from the courses which are supporting and encouraging participants to self-manage their conditions more effectively to live fuller more meaningful lives.

    They have courses starting in May and June in Clay Cross, Eckington and Staveley

    Please see below their timetable for all of the LWLTC courses taking place across Derbyshire from January 19 through to November 19. They still have availability for all the dates listed below but are filling places fast so if you have, or know of patients who are interested in attending please refer to them as soon as possible

    Start Dates Time Location
    Thursday 9th May 19 13.30 – 16.00 Tesco Community Room Clay Cross
    Tuesday 28th May19 10.30 – 13.00 Ilkeston Fire Station Derby Road Ilkeston (FULL)
    Monday 3rd June 19 11.00 – 13.30 Eckington Library Eckington
    Thursday 6th June 19 12.30 – 15.00 Staveley Fire Station Staveley
    Wednesday 18th September 13.00- 15.30 Salvation Army Hall Long Eaton
    Tuesday 24th September 19 10.30 – 13.00 Alfreton Library Severn Square Alfreton
    Wednesday 25th September 19 10.30 – 13.00 Swadlincote Fire Station Swadlincote
    Friday 27th September 19 10.30 – 13.00 Bolsover Library Church Street Bolsover
    Dates to be confirmed – Sept 19 Matlock
    Thursday 10th October 19 13.30 – 16.00 Tesco Community Room Clay Cross
    Wednesday 23rd October 19 13.00 – 15.30 Dronfield Library Manor House High Street Dronfield
    Dates to be confirmed – October Amber Trust Ripley
    Tuesday 5th November 19 10.30 – 13.00 Buxton Library Bank Road Buxton
    Thursday 7th November 19 13.30 – 16.00 Chesterfield Fire Station Spires Walk Chesterfield
    Friday 8th November 19 12.30 – 15.00 Ilkeston Fire Station Derby Road Ilkeston

    The FREE six-week programme is delivered one day a week for 2.5 hours. It aims to support people with a long- term health or medical condition, to maintain their health and improve their quality of life. The course has been designed to help people with chronic or long term illness regain as much control over their physical and emotional wellbeing as possible. It compliments existing health care programmes and treatments, empowering participants to be more informed and take back control of their lives.

    Topics covered include healthy eating, relaxation, appropriate physical exercise, dealing with pain, fatigue, stress and depression, and communicating effectively with friends, family and health professionals. It also provides a forum to meet with others and share experiences.

    The LWLTC Programme is for anyone who has one or more long-term health conditions such as asthma, arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), depression, diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart disease, sickle cell, HIV, ME/chronic fatigue, chronic pain or any other condition. The course is also available and has proved to be beneficial for carers of someone with a long term condition. The programme is delivered by two volunteer tutors who themselves live with long-term conditions and can give practical advice based on their own life experience.

    Feedback has been great. People have said that the programme has really helped them to feel more positively about life, as well as advising on practical changes they can make to improve their wellbeing.

    What people who have attended the courses say
    • Great course able to share thoughts and feelings with like-minded people
    • This was an excellent course providing a variety of strategies to help me live more effectively with a long term condition with all its accompanying problems and ongoing symptoms and issues. Both the tutors were brilliant and worked well together as a team.
    • Course tutors Caring, Effective and always Positive
    • It has helped so much and the tutors deliver the course in a fun and interesting way. I have learnt a lot
    • It was good to meet people with the same problems due to their health and discuss these things
    • I feel ready now to look for a job
    • Due to this course I am more inclined to go out and Socialise with strangers as I have more confidence and have made friends

    For further information or to reserve a space on one of the courses please return the referral form or alternatively you can contact them at;

    Tel: 07487 257187 or 01283 210107

  • Derby Book Festival Competition

    Derby Book Festival Competition

    Can you write about ‘Our World’ in up to 50 words?

    That is the challenge they are setting for their 2019 Fifty Word Flash Fiction Writing Competition. They are looking for stories of up to fifty words, as calculated on the website entry form (excluding the title). You can interpret the theme of ‘Our World’ in any way you wish, but your work must be original, and it must tell a complete story.

    There are three age categories – 11 years and under, 12 – 17 years, 18 years and over. There will be one winner in each category. A panel of experts will judge the entries and each winning story will be illustrated by a local illustrator, Evelyn Hunter, and printed on Festival bookmarks, which will be used to promote the Festival.

    There will be a prize for each category of a £50 Waterstones book token.

    The closing date for the competition is 10pm on Wednesday 8 May 2019.

    All entries must be submitted online using their website form, which can be found on the Derby Book Festival website:
    Website Link…

    Last year’s competition (on the theme of ‘If Only’) attracted around 500 entries and they look forward to receiving even more this year.

    If you need some tips on Flash Fiction, take a look at some previous winning stories, which they hope will inspire you to enter!

    A year younger

    If only I was a year younger, I wouldn’t be here, bound to this mud clogged trench waiting to die. I wouldn’t be cursed to lie looking at the shells arcing above, will one hit me today? Or will my heart be pierced by their cold steel bayonets, if only…

    Bobby Derbyshire


    “Come with me,” he said, “and I will show you worlds.” And he did: lapis palaces and red rock caves; deep sea trenches and coral gardens; wind carved deserts and disappearing ice. When he died he left me his books. Now I travel the pages alone and think of him.

    Sherri Turner

  • Carers in Employment

    Carers in Employment

    Derbyshire Carers Association – Carers in Employment Initiative

    Derbyshire Carers Association hosted an employment event at the stunning Locko Park in Spondon. The event was to help employers understand how to support working Carers within their workforce and understand the impact of their Caring responsibilities.

    There are more than 3 million people who currently have work and caring responsibilities within the UK. 1 in 9 of a workforce in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire has unpaid caring responsibilities at any one time. This work results in British businesses’ and the UK economy potentially saving up to £1.3 billion a year ( It is approximated that giving them support to manage unpaid caring alongside their paid work would benefit them, their families and their employer.

    Since launching The Carers in Employment project last year, DCA have now recruited over 70 businesses in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, all of which have signed up to their Carers Pledge. The pledge states that each organisation has to nominate a key member of staff (Carers Champion) to attend regular events and training sessions that detail information to help support both the Carer and the employer within their organisation. DCA will review HR policies and procedures to enable employers to offer different levels of support within the workplace. Examples of this could be:

    Flexible working hours
    Access to a telephone
    Car parking space at/near work
    Working from home
    Unpaid and paid leave
    Career breaks

    Organisations that have introduced flexible working and special leave arrangements for Carers have judged them a success. Their message is: it makes business sense to care for Carers.

    The flexible supportive approach:

    Attracts and retains staff
    Reduces stress
    Reduces recruitment and training costs
    Increases resilience and productivity
    Reduces sick leave and absenteeism
    Improves service delivery
    Produces cost savings
    Improves people management
    Increases staff morale

    If you’re organisation would like to be part of the Carers in Employment project and sign up to our pledge then please get in contact on Tel: 01773 833833 or E-mail:

  • Body Shop Party

    Body Shop Party

    Derbyshire Carers Association invites you to drop in on

    Tuesday 7th May 2019 10am—3pm

    at Hearing Help 156 Derby road, Ripley, DE5 8HU

    Body Shop products for sale, to try and to order..

    Tea, coffee, biscuits and cake available.

    20% of all sales of products go to Derbyshire Carers Association

    Free 5 min makeovers and facials plus free hand and arm massage.

    For more information contact : or telephone 01773 833833

  • 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.

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