Waveney charity holds Sponsored Umbrella Walk in Lowestoft

IT may be a beautiful sunny day but that did not stopped a group of strollers putting on their Wellington boots and clutching their umbrellas in a bid to raise money for charity.

Crossroads Care Waveney held their first Sponsored Umbrella Walk today at Nicholas Everitt Park in Lowestoft to raise vital pounds for carer respite.

The national charity provides support for carers and the people they care for. The Waveney branch supports people in the Waveney area of Suffolk and have been offering support services since 1985.

Care manager Pat Cruse, said: 'It doesn't matter what the disability is, we are supporting and caring for the family carers. We look after the person who needs the care to allow the carer to have some time out. They can get totally tired and warn down but if we can give them even an hour off it gives them a chance to re-charge their batteries and makes them aware that they are not on their own.

'The idea behind the umbrella walk was that we are an umbrella organisation encompassing all carers and people with disabilities.'

Organisers said that they hoped to raise �1000 from the event, which saw people sponsored to walk laps around the park.

Maragaret Hammond, 72, lives in Carlton Colville and is full-time carer for her husband Dennis, 73. They both took part in the umbrella walk.

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She said: 'It is important we help support Crossroad Care Waveney because they do such a wonderful service. We don't need to use it a lot but it is good to know it's there when we want it.

'It is nice to meet other people in the same situation as we are and to go somewhere without any stigma.'

Mr Hammond added: 'I like meeting other people at Crossroads.'

Although the umbrella walk is currently only a local event Mrs Cruse said that she hopes other branches of the charity will adopt the idea across Britain.

'We will have to see how successful we are,' she said.

'It's a good event to raise awareness too as I don't think we always realise what a huge amount is put into the country from these unpaid carers. We need to support them.'

Development manager Julie Ing, added: 'We are for all carers and all care needs. There's very little we can't help support people with.'

• For more information about Crossroads Care Waveney or to donate call 01502 574526 or visit www.crossroads.org.uk/waveney

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