Angela Rippon will chair carers' conference

A conference in Norwich for carers of the mentally ill will be chaired by the writer Angela Rippon. The "I Care" conference is aimed at people who care for those with a wide range of mental ill health problems and will give carers the opportunity to share their own experiences and discuss the new local and national carers' strategies.

A conference in Norwich for carers of the mentally ill will be chaired by the writer Angela Rippon.

The 'I Care' conference is aimed at people who care for those with a wide range of mental ill health problems and will give carers the opportunity to share their own experiences and discuss the new local and national carers' strategies. There will be presentations and workshops and information on complementary therapies for carers.

It is being held in National Carers Week and is organised by Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust.

Miss Rippon was chosen to host the day because of her experience of supporting her mother through dementia, and campaigning for dementia charities.


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She said: 'My mother's rapid decline into the parallel universe she inhabits called dementia demanded an equally rapid and steep learning curve on my part. Not only to understand what was happening, but how to ensure that she had the best treatment and lifestyle possible. One thing soon became blindingly obvious. As an amateur I was floundering in unknown territory. Family carers need all the help they can get from the professionals. Without it, dementia can erode the lives of everyone it touches - carers and loved ones alike.'

Also speaking will be writer and campaigner Georgina Wakefield, whose son's schizophrenia was featured on a BBC documentary called Loving Christian.

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Maggie Wheeler, chairman of the mental health trust, said the people they treat 'have parents, partners, brothers, sisters, children and friends who are also affected by their illness. It is vital that we support these carers - and enable them not only to understand and help their family members, but also be able to carry on being a loving husband, supportive friend and not be consumed by their caring role.'

The conference is at the John Innes Centre on June 11. It is free for carers to attend. You can register online at www.icareconference.info.

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