Originally set up to provide respite for unpaid carers, Pobl’s Respite Service team has adapted to the current situation to offer not only a new tailored service to existing clients, but also a support service across the wider community.
The team has been supporting a total of 70 carers, allowing them to balance their lives more easily. But working in partnership with Community Connectors at Newport City Council, they have received a number of new referrals too.
Within the first week of the partnership being set up, Pobl Respite Service received 13 referrals and were able to begin supporting them within 24 hours.
Among these are people in need of support to leave hospital, lightening the load on the NHS at a crucial time.
“Half of the number of our new referrals have been people who were well enough to be discharged from hospital, but not without additional support. If we hadn’t stepped in to help, they would not have been able to leave.” Maria Szekely, Pobl Respite Service Team Manager
Usually, the service supports those looking after elderly people. The majority are carers of people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The service allows the carers to get out into the community, attend appointments, complete chores and balance caring with everyday life.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, the referrals have been much more varied, as has the type of support required.
"Our referrals include people with no support networks who are self-isolating due to suffering with high risk medical conditions, people who are waiting to be discharged from hospital, over 70s, families who have children who are at risk and people who just need help to put their shopping away due to frailty.” Maria Szekely
Maria commented, “We are now offering over the phone support. We’re giving the carer and person being cared for a point of contact to discuss current issues, their general wellbeing and offering support and guidance.
"We also assist with their shopping and pick up medication or essential items.”
Working alongside Maria are 5 support workers – all of whom are making a huge difference at a time when there is uncertainty and worry. Here at Pobl we are incredibly proud of the team and all they are doing to help the Newport community.