carers centre

The Trials and Tribulations of running a charity: The Carers Centre

By Alan Caldwell

The Renfrewshire Carers Centre is a local charity that has been open since January 1996 in a bid to help and support those who are caring for an ill family member and are struggling with those challenges. The Centre is a registered charity (SCO23986) which is governed by a board of directors, the majority of whom must be carers or former carers themselves. Renfrewshire Carers Centre has been providing a wide range of support and services to carers for over 20 years.

Being a smaller charity in today’s society can be difficult as there is a lack of funding and resources making the job even harder than what it already is, this meaning employing staff and even getting people to volunteer can be a real challenge. Speaking on the challenges that a smaller charity face, centre manager, Diane Goodman, explained just how difficult it can be to run a charity: “We have to be specialised in our roles, we have to capture HR, health & safety or fundraising, we’ve got to capture all that in the organisation, where as if you look at bigger companies they have their own departments for that and we just have it added onto someone’s job.” This highlighting just how much of a struggle it can be for charities to employ staff with workers often overworked and underpaid, covering various roles that wouldn’t necessarily be in their job title.

Despite this, the Carers Centre do a fantastic job with offering carers who are needing a break or a chat from the stress of there every day life by supplying them with a range of activities and groups they can take part in, so they can socialise with other carers who are in similar positions and take their mind off of the difficulties they may face at home. Some of the groups and support they offer to carers are: information and advice through newsletter, website and going into the community, young carers support, support groups, choir, arts & crafts and drop in cafe, as well as friendly listening ears.

Speaking on just how much the centre has helped, carer, Margaret Nilsson explained how much the centre has helped over the years

“The centre has been a lifesaver for me, I first came along about 18 years ago when I was in crisis. I got lost, the centre was about me, someone asking how I felt which was the first time in years.”

To find out more information on the centre or to reach out to the local charity please click here for more information.

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