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Post | July 2023 | For volunteers | 2 min read

Carole's story

Written by Laura Bazley

Carole volunteers with the Somerset Carers Service as a support group leader and helps to provide social and emotional support to carers and the people they care for at their monthly meetings.


After suffering with her own mental health, Carol wanted to give back and help others who were going through a similar experience. 


"My role entails being an ear when things are difficult, signposting to relevant organisations, sharing information and organising speakers for the group meetings.  


"The group I support has been able to access mental health help, links for equipment, financial support and planning, information about wills and help with dementia diagnosis, as well as having an hour or so when they don't have to worry about their loved one and can talk to others in a similar situation. 


"My own mental health has greatly improved since I started my volunteering too, and I no longer need a counsellor. I have learnt a great deal not only from the group, but the professionals who have come to chat with us. I have made new friends and I feel in my own small way I am making a difference. 


I have also had the opportunity to complete first aid, open mental health awareness and mindfulness training, and I am awaiting mental health first aid and dementia training. 


"I have a business in health and wellbeing, and it has opened doorways to other carers groups, grants and other organisations within the caring community. It has increased my understanding of what carers experience, which has helped me in my role. 


"I would recommend that others volunteer as it is so rewarding to give something back to the community. You make new friends and learn new skills."


The Carers groups are a lifeline to many people as they provide mutual support and friendship. Here are some testimonials from some of the carers who attend Carole's group: 


“Having someone show you what you can do to help combat stress is wonderful. You come away feeling so much better. There is a need to be shown how to relax when life is hard. Carole is very good at doing that and I am so grateful.” 


“Carole and the group have made such a difference to our lives, without them I'm really not sure where we’d be now.” 

If Carole's story has inspired you to volunteer with your local carers group, click the button below to find an opportunity near you.

For dates, times and locations of the Carers Support Groups, click here

The Somerset Carers is run by Community Council for Somerset (CCS). CSS is a member of Open Mental Health, an alliance of organisations working together to ensure that people in Somerset get the support they need, when they need it. Find opportunities to volunteer with OMH here.  




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