MFRS to help deliver afternoon tea to 250 unpaid carers to thank them for ‘tea-riffic’ pandemic efforts

Around 250 carers across Merseyside will be treated to afternoon tea next week as part of a ‘thank you’ from local organisations for their efforts during the pandemic.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) has teamed up with LFC, Age UK Wirral, all five Merseyside local authorities and a number of other organisations to recognise the commitment and sacrifice made by unpaid carers as part of their ‘Care for the Carers’ campaign.

The afternoon teas will be prepared by LFC before being delivered by volunteers and MFRS fire crews to carers in Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral on the afternoon of Wednesday 9 June.

The project, which coincides with National Carers Week, follows a similar initiative in December which saw MFRS crews and volunteers deliver traditional Christmas day lunch to around 100 older people in Wirral.

Nick McCormack, Station Manager at MFRS, who will be one of over 60 volunteers delivering afternoon teas on the day, said, “We know that the last 15 months has been extremely difficult for everyone – we have all had to make sacrifices in order to keep those around us safe. Unfortunately, there are many members of our community who simply cannot look after themselves and so rely on carers to help them on a daily basis.

“Many of these people are unpaid carers and are often family members – sometimes children – of those who are in need of support. The commitment and bravery of these people is remarkable and whilst we know that the afternoon tea is in no way comparable to the efforts they have shown throughout the pandemic, we hope it will bring a little cheer to their day and offer them a little respite.”

The project would not be possible without the support of LFC, whose community team Red Neighbours will be preparing the afternoon teas, and Age UK Wirral who have worked with counterparts in other Merseyside districts to identify those in receipt of delivery.

Forbes Duff, Senior Manager, Red Neighbours, said, “There are so many extraordinary carers in our local communities looking after friends and family members, many of whom do so without respite or financial support. Their selflessness and commitment is amazing and it makes such a big difference to the people they support.  We want to thank them for all that they do with a small act of kindness, which we hope will acknowledge their dedication and the important work they do, and put a smile on their faces.”

Jenny Paton, DCEO Age UK Wirral, said, “We are delighted to be working with MFRS and LFC to ensure that our carers know we appreciate how hard the last year has been. The afternoon teas will be a real treat for their unpaid carers who spend all their time looking after their loved one and putting their needs first. It gives us the opportunity to show how much we appreciate and care about them, and lets them know they can come to us for support of they need it.”

MFRS’ Chief Fire Officer, Deputy Fire Officer and Assistant Fire Officer will also have a key part to play on the day, with each of them set to deliver afternoon tea to carers in Sefton.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service fits smoke alarms free of charge to those over 65 or meeting certain criteria. If you or someone you know would benefit from a Home Fire Safety Check, please call on 0800 731 5958 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) or visit https://www.merseyfire.gov.uk/safety-advice/home-fire-safety/online-home-fire-safety-check/

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