Carers unite for charity walk in St Albans

Carers in Herts CEO Michelle Stokes, Carers UK CEO Helena Herklots, mayor of St Albans cllr Salih Ga

Carers in Herts CEO Michelle Stokes, Carers UK CEO Helena Herklots, mayor of St Albans cllr Salih Gaygusuz, HCC director of health and community services Iain MacBeath and Carers in herts chair of trustees Andrew Mills prepare to set off with carers for "walk in the park" at Westminster Lodge - Credit: Archant

Thirty carers were given the rare opportunity to talk to the head of a national charity while taking part in a sponsored walk recently.

Carers in Hertfordshire, a charity that provides advice and services for people caring for a relative or friend, organised the Carers Walk where carers from the district gathered to do a sponsored walk around Verulamium Park.

They were joined by Helena Herklots, chief executive of national charity Carers UK, who is walking up 50 hills around the UK as part of the charity’s 50th anniversary.

The two mile walk gave carers the opportunity to voice concerns and discuss difficulties they face, with discussion topics including dementia care and the lack of services for autistic teenagers.

Carer Alison, who has two autistic children, said: “The walk was good. It was nice to speak other carers and hear their stories. Carers in Hertfordshire have been brilliant for me and made a hard time easier.”

The walk began at Westminster Lodge leisure centre and then proceeded up Holywell Hill before walkers were treated to a talk at and tour of St Albans Cathedral.

It continued around the park before a finishing at Westminster Lodge for drinks and food.

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The walk up Holywell Hill counted towards Helena Herklots’ 50 hill challenge. She said: “It was a fantastic afternoon and I got the chance to talk to several carers about their roles and experiences.

“Caring for a loved one without the right support can be an uphill struggle, which I why I have chosen to climb 50 hills in this, our anniversary year.

“It goes without saying that I wouldn’t have got this far – climbing 26 hills – without the support of dedicated carers, friends, colleagues and local carers’ organisations, like Carers in Hertfordshire, along the way.”