Carers Friendship Group celebrates its third anniversary

“I HARDLY left the house before meeting this group, they have given me another life alongside caring.”

Friday, September 14, 2012

Grimsby Telegraph

These are the words of Mimi Tebeje, pictured, who joined in with the celebrations to wish The Carers Friendship Group a very happy third year running.

  1. MEETING UP: Members of the Carers Friendship Group pictured during their third anniversary celebration dinner at the Punch Bowl in Cleethorpes. Pictured with the group are, Stewart Coley, left, and Tony Packham, right, who set up the group. Picture: Rick Byrne

Mimi, of Hainton Avenue, Grimsby, is a mum-of-two and full time carer to her 15-year-old daughter Ruth Kidene, who suffers with genetic problems reducing her mobility.

Two years ago she joined the friendship group which formed off the back of meetings at the North East Lincolnshire Carers Centre in Victoria Street, Grimsby.

It is for carers and ex-carers who, without the support of each other, would otherwise not have much of a social life.

The group which now has around 30 members, meets regularly for drinks, meals and informal chats.

Mimi claims she has met some life long friends since attending and has found a new lease of life.

She said: “For the past 15 years, my life has been centred around the care and attention of my daughter.

“I have not known any different until I was made aware of this friendship group.

“I now have the chance to relax and unwind with others who are in similar situations to myself.

“Being a full time carer can be hard and very stressful at times, so to have something like this to be a part of is very welcoming.”

The group was set up three years ago by Stewart Coley, 62, of Stallingborough, and Tony Packham, 76, of Humberston.

To celebrate the third anniversary, carers met at the Punch Bowl, North Promanade, Cleethorpes, for an evening meal.

David Melling, 66, of Cleethorpes, is one of the newest carers to have joined the group four months ago.

He looks after his wife Andrea Melling, 61, who had a stroke in 2006 and battled through breast cancer last year.

David said: “I have never been much of a social person but I attended a coffee morning that the group holds and immediately felt welcomed.

“When you care for someone full time you almost become disabled yourself, things you used to be able to do together no longer happen.

“Being able to socialise with others who can relate to your situation is revitalising, I feel as though I have a new life.

“I would encourage any carer to come and join the group and socialise with us, they will find it very enjoyable.”

A new carers friendship coffee morning is held fortnightly on a Wednesday, at the North East Lincolnshire Carers Centre in Victoria Street, Grimsby.

The next one for any carer or ex-carer to attend, will be on Wednesday, September 26, from 1.30pm to 3pm.

For more information or support, call the centre on 0845 302 5525.


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