Swanswell project turns Barnsley in to Yarnsley

17 July 2012

Some of Barnsley’s well-known landmarks have received woolly makeovers to raise awareness of the support available for the carers of people affected by substance misuse.

Brightly coloured, knitted banners saying ‘Recovery for families too’ have been appearing around the town including Mandela Gardens and the Rotary Shelter, over the last week as part of a yarnbombing exercise to highlight Swanswell’s carer support service.

It’s part of Barnsley’s integrated treatment system, offering emotional and practical support from financial advice regarding carers allowance applications to help with understanding their loved one’s treatment.

The service, based at Henry Windsor House on Pitt Street, also gives carers the opportunity to live their own lives, providing a range of activities such as days out, and art and craft workshops, which is where the yarnbombing idea started out.

With permission from the owners of the landmarks and buildings, carers and team members from Swanswell have been decorating shelters, trees and other public areas with yarn to get people talking about the importance of support for carers.

The team also took part in the Mayor’s parade in Barnsley town centre last weekend (14 July 2012), providing information about the carers support service. 

Jeni Upperdine, Senior Practitioner at Swanswell’s carer support service, said: ‘We’ve been delighted with the response to our campaign to raise awareness of the help and advice for carers of loved ones affected by alcohol or drug misuse.

Caring for a loved one in these circumstances can be a very isolating experience and many don’t know where to turn for help, so we’ve come up with an eye-catching way of letting people know that we’re here.

Our ‘recovery for families too’ banner highlights that it’s not only the person misusing alcohol or drugs who needs recovery, their family also needs to recover from the negative impact substance misuse has had on them and their loved ones.

We can help with a range of issues and can talk through their loved one’s treatment through to recovery, something we think is important for families to do too.’

Swanswell’s carer support service is also looking for donations of knitting needles or wool as part of the project.

Jeni added: ‘If anyone has any spare wool they’d like to give to us, we’d be very grateful. We need to get as much as we can find for a very special project later this year but we’ll reveal more about that soon.’

If you have spare wool or knitting needles that you wish to donate to Swanswell's carer support service, visit our contact us page for details of how to get in touch.

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