For many carers in Honiton, lockdown has been especially tough. Not only have they had to cope with being even more isolated but support groups, which offer a small respite, have had to suspend meetings.
Despite these challenges, the chair of Honiton Carers Support Group, Winnie Cameron, has been doing everything in her power to keep the network alive and offer support to members.
The group is one of the local good causes supported by the town’s Co-op in Lace Walk through the Co-operative Local Community fund.
Winnie told Honiton Nub News: “Since the beginning of lockdown, I have provided a weekly phone call for the 34 carers who attend regular meetings.
“It does take hours and I have to set aside the whole afternoon on Wednesdays and Fridays to speak to everyone. It can be exhausting too but it’s definitely worthwhile.
“Often, they have no-one they can talk to outside of their role as a full-time carer. It’s become a really important part of the support I can offer in these difficult times.
“A weekly email is also sent out to 72 carers who are part of the wider network.”
Honiton Carers provides a lifeline for a growing number of people who find themselves as full-time carers for a loved one, with little or no support.
Winnie is keen to remind people that they can help Honiton Carers through this difficult time simply by becoming Co-op members and purchasing selected own brand items from the Co-op in Lace Walk. Members also benefit with additional savings.
As one of the three local causes supported by Honiton Co-op, the group benefits from funds raised by Co-op member shoppers though the good causes scheme, whereby one per cent of members' spend on selected Co-op branded products is donated by the business back to the local community.
The other two chosen causes are Honiton Shedders and Honiton 729 Club.
“The funding we receive from the Co-op makes a big difference to us, especially now we’re unable to hold the fundraising events we normally would,” added Winnie.