Two community organisations who’ve been looking forward to this year’s Carers Week have been Apna Virsa and the Asian Carers Group.
Asian Carers are part of Apna Virsa’s Wellbeing Matters project partnership, which sees different community groups deliver free exercise classes in and around Slough.
Until lockdown, Asian Carers had been delivering a Pilates class at the Slough Hindu Temple on Thursdays, giving mostly carers a chance to meet and take a break from their everyday responsibilities.
To ensure their needs were still met during lockdown, Apna Virsa stepped in by amalgamating its own classes and putting four online for all to access on a weekly basis.
Asian Carers’ members were also added to Apna Virsa’s Whatsapp Groups during lockdown to ensure they had access to the online classes and other activities to keep them active.
As well as the pilates session, Asian Carers normally runs a referral service for carers to help them access different local services in the community. Apna Virsa also assists Asian Carers with joined-up working, and offer carers discounts for its Bhangra dance programme.
Pushpa Kharbanda, who leads Asian Carers, said: “We already know that carers live and work in very challenging circumstances, with heartbreaking stories of how their loved ones ended up requiring care in the first place.
“During lockdown this has made things even harder, especially since they’ve had to remain at home with little respite. I’m therefore glad that our work with Apna Virsa during this time has offered a glimmer of hope, helping people to stay healthy, both mentally and physically.”
Seema Kamboj, project leader for Apna Virsa, added: “This week is a great chance for the unsung heroes of the lockdown – home carers – to be thanked and made a fuss of. We hope as many carers as possible will take advantage of the daily online sessions.”