Lord Mayor announces extension to Southern Trust's Adult Learning Disability Carers’ Get Active Card

Lord Mayor announces extension to Southern Trust's Adult Learning Disability Carers’ Get Active Card
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Newly elected Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Paul Greenfield has announced an extension to the eligibility and duration of the Carers’ Get Active Card Pilot Scheme.

Led by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, and Southern Health and Social Care Trust, the collaborative initiative offers a 20% discount to normal membership fees across all nine council leisure facilities for eligible caregivers – providing access to the gym, swimming pools and classes in all centres.

The pilot scheme has been extended to include trust registered carers of children with learning disabilities – which is in addition to trust registered carers of adults with learning disabilities – and now remains open to the end of August 2022.

“It is fantastic to see the Carers’ Get Active Card Pilot Scheme rolled out even further among local caregivers in the borough,” commented Cllr Paul Greenfield.

“Being a primary carer for someone with a learning difficulty can be an incredibly rewarding experience but also a very demanding and stressful commitment, therefore it’s vitally important for anyone in this position to look after themselves and their own health and wellbeing.

“We hope through our reduced membership scheme, we can encourage local caregivers to take the time out to destress, recharge and reap the many positive health benefits our leisure facilities have to offer.”

The Carers’ Get Active Card Pilot Scheme is open to any ABC borough carer of an adult or child who uses Southern Trust Learning Disability and Fostering services. The Pilot Scheme will undergo a full review by council and the trust after August 31, 2022.

Chief Executive of Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Dr Maria O’Kane said: “This is an excellent example of collaborative working between the trust and ABC Council to provide some assistance for carers to access much needed leisure facilities. Parents and carers across the trust provide a crucial role in caring for children and adults with complex needs and they may require support to continue this role.”

As part of Learning Disability Week [Monday 20 June – Friday 24 June], Get Active ABC is running a ‘Carers Hour’ for those interested in availing of a Carer Membership through the partnership.  A free ‘come and try’ gym and swim session is being offered from 9.30am to 10.30am [Monday – Friday] in a leisure centre of choice.

Those wishing to avail of this free session can come along with their Carer Card - issued by the Children’s disability or adult learning disability teams. Non-Get Active ABC members will sign up and complete an online gym induction.

Lena Canavan from Southern Health and Social Services Trust Head of Special Services commented, “We would like to encourage all carers within adult and children’s Learning Disability Services to avail of the opportunities on offer during Learning Disability week to become involved in this scheme and discover other ways to engage in ongoing activities by contacting Adult Learning Disability Carers Consultants.”

To register for Carers’ Get Active Card Pilot Scheme, carers should contact Southern Trust Learning Disability Carers Consultants: 

- Bernie Marshall on bernadette.marshall@southerntrust.hscni.net or 07557819172

- Majella Gorman on majella.gorman@southerntrust.hscni.net or 07557858749

- Mark Irwin on mark.irwin@southerntrust.hscni.net or 07825988697

- Portadown & Family Placement Team on 02837 560750

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