Tom Harris – Carers Support Worker (Carers Leeds)
Tom Harris works for Carers Leeds, a charity which supports unpaid carers in Leeds, of which there are more than 72,000! Tom visits carers in their own homes in South and West Leeds. He can also see people on a one-to-one basis at GP surgeries.
His role is primarily to support carers of people who have physical health problems. He supports Carers in various ways – from providing a listening ear to helping access benefits and a range of other services that might be helpful including those within the Social Care System. He also seeks to develop new links in the community and increase awareness about carers (including with organisations like BEA)
Tom has worked at Carers Leeds since 2013, in this role since April this year. He really enjoys the role because it is varied, meeting many interesting people and making a difference in the lives of a ‘hidden’ group. But it is challenging. Some people’s situations are often very complex and upsetting, and require sensitivity and understanding of what people need.
“It’s a privilege to work with people
who are often overlooked”
Many older carers are extremely isolated, as the caring responsibilities they take on make it so difficult to get out of the house, often on top of health problems they may have themselves. Tom finds that older carers often put on a brave face and may not seek the help that is available or know what help is available. Having someone to talk to and provide information can often be useful.
Tom grew up in Leeds and has lived in various parts of the city all his life. At the moment he spends a lot of time looking after his 6 month old baby, and he goes for a run to de-stress when he can!
Are you a carer? Would you like support? Phone Carers Leeds Advice Line 0113 380 4300