Hastings carer upset by support group closure

Alannah Jones and other members of the young adult support group
Alannah Jones and other members of the young adult support group

A Hastings carer said she felt like a best friend had died after her support group was closed unexpectedly.

Alannah Jones, of Linley Drive, was devastated when she saw on Facebook that her support group for young adult carers has been ended by Care for the Carers.

The 18-year-old has been a carer for her dad since she was 14 and has relied on the group for helpful advice and to share her experiences.

But the online post said the charity had suffered a loss of funding and was forced to end the monthly socials.

“They hadn’t mentioned anything then I go on Facebook on Friday (October 16) and see there’s no club anymore,” she said.

“It’s a shock because it was somewhere I could go to to relax but I am quite upset at the way they done it.

“I am sure if they had came to us and talked about trying to reduce the costs or something then we could have thought of something.

“It would have been nice to tell us in person.

“I’m really grateful for the service but they could have explained it to us, we would have understood.”

The group of 10 to 15 young adults used to meet in the Salvation Army Hall in Ore before the abrupt closure.

Miss Jones tried to find out more details from Care for the Carers but said that nobody would talk to her but eventually received a letter from the charity repeating the online post.

The charity said assistance will still be available such as free counselling, ‘an upgraded online offer’ and a Christmas party but her mother Carolyn is not convinced.

“To quote my daughter, it felt like a ‘best friend had died,” Mrs Jones said.

“It’s absolutely appalling.

“They said there will be online assistance but they need contact and too see other people.”

The letter and online post said the charity is aware the socials are a great opportunity for young adult carers to meet with their friends but it is sorry not to be able to continue offering these activities.

As part of a review into its services for young adults, the charity will be looking at how best to access funding for social opportunities in the future.

Chief executive Jennifer Twist said: “Care for the Carers is an independent charity supporting unpaid carers across East Sussex. A range of services are available, including support groups, one to one information and advice, counselling and training opportunities.

“When I spoke with Mrs Jones last week, I was very sorry to hear of her, and her daughter’s experience, and have taken steps to address their concerns. Care for the Carers is absolutely committed to supporting young adult carers. We do have a responsibility to make sure that our services make a big difference to carers’ lives, and also make the best possible use of charitable funds. This review will help us to achieve this and to involve carers in service development.

“We are keen to hear from young adult carers who would like to know more, or to contribute to the review. Care for the Carers can be contacted on 01323 738 390, at info@cftc.org.uk or on www.cftc.org.uk, 8-8 Monday and Friday, 9-5 Tuesday to Thursday.”

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