Newtownabbey woman’s drive towards building a better community for carers

An award-winning Newtownabbey writer and trainer has been praised for her tireless work in providing resources to support people in carer roles.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 5:18 pm

Dr Mary Henderson’s latest resource pack is seen as timely with Covid-19 continuing to impact on many people - especially those already feeling socially isolated through their caring role. 

Mary, of Care 2 Share NI Caring Publications (an Ignite Award recipient through UnLtd’s Engage programme), commented: “Caring for a family member, friend or someone within the community irrespective of age or illness can be a very anxious and traumatic time. Any publications that I have written first and foremost has come from my own personal experience. As a child I helped my father care for my late mother who had Mitral Valve Stenosis from her late teens and passed away at age of 48.

“Later in life I was a carer for my late father who was diagnosed with combined dementia – vascular and Alzheimer’s. He was a resident in two care home settings. Difficult as it was at times I learned so much and that is the why for many years now I have endeavoured in some small way to help carers, those in the caring profession, care homes and those within community and faith-based organisations.”

Mary Henderson (right) with the Melanie Phillips, assistant director, Community Care, East Antrim locality and the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Billy Webb.

Mary produced a Carers’ Training Manual which was launched at Stormont few years ago in an event hosted by Paula Bradley MLA. It is now CPD (continuing professional development, accredited. She has also produced eight stand-alone, self-help interactive books relating to the manual for carers, caring professionals, leaders within community and faith-based organisations. Time 2 Care Ambassador training is also available accompanied by badge and certificate. Separate training workshops include: The Caring Journey, Setting up a Carers Support Group, Setting up Dementia Friendly Community and Carers Community Forum. Mary also has provided two devotional and Bible study books supporting carers and leaders.

Following a recent photo call to highlight the Time 2 Care resources, the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb, said: “Carers can often feel like the forgotten army. They make many sacrifices to be able to care for their loved ones and the impact of the pandemic has only heightened the issues of isolation felt among carers.

“Mary has committed many years to providing resources for carers and I know this new material will be a great support to so many of our carers who play such a vital role in our local communities and in supporting our health service.”

Further endorsement of Mary’s work comes from Melanie Phillips, assistant director, Community Care, East Antrim locality, Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

Mary's resources can be adapted to suit requirements.

“I am delighted on behalf of the Northern Health & Social Care Trust to be able to support Mary as she continues to work tirelessly providing comprehensive informative written materials for carers.

“Mary has used her own personal experience and also that gained from within her extensive community and pastoral work to develop an excellent resource pack, which will be of great benefit to carers of all ages and in a wide variety of situations.

“The resource can be used in totality or in selected parts making it user friendly and applicable as and when individuals require support and guidance to assist them in their caring role,” said Melanie.

Mary’s resources, which include inserts from her doctorate thesis, ‘Pastoral and Practical Care within Community Engagement’, can be adapted to suit individual requirements. Training is available via Zoom or face to face.

For further information contact Dr Mary Henderson via email: [email protected]

Or go to the website: www.time2care.org.uk

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