Carers can carry a heavy physical and emotional load in the provision of care to family or friends, and their efforts are generally unpaid.

The role they play in our broader health and social support system is so important but who looks after the carer? It was out of this need to support the many selfless carers in our community that Peter Mac’s Carer’s Circle was born, back in 2018.

More than two years later, the Carers Circle weekly peer support groups continue to be offered to families, friends and support people of Peter Mac patients. The sessions are led by two consumer representatives, Dani Chamberlin and Ros Aylott, who generously volunteer their time, knowledge and experience to facilitate discussions and create opportunities for connection and support among carers and support people.

Dani and Ros’ work has helped these important members of the Peter Mac community to come together in a safe and welcoming space, either in our Wellbeing Centre or virtually via Zoom.

In December 2020, Dani and Ros were jointly awarded the Peter Mac Award for Exceptional Patient Experience Award, which recognises those who positively impact the patient experience, directly or indirectly. This accolade highlighted the invaluable contribution Dani and Ros have made through demonstrations of empathy and simple acts of kindness.

As Ros says: “Never underestimate what a small gesture can mean to someone going through a tough time.”

For Dani, facilitating the Carer’s Circle sessions online throughout the COVID-19 pandemic “highlighted the vital importance of listening, no matter what the channel.”

While sessions are currently being offered virtually via Zoom, the plan is to resume coming together in person over tea and biscuits as soon as it is safe to do so.

To find out more about the Carer’s Circle and other supports available at Peter Mac, visit our Prevention and Wellbeing page.

For details of our next Carer's Circle meeting, see this flyer.