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National Care for a Cuppa

This year, more than ever, it’s important to reach out to unpaid carers and make sure they know you are there for them, and that it’s good to talk about how they are feeling. 

So, for Carers Week (08-14 June 2020) we are encouraging groups, organisations, employers, friends and individuals across the UK to organise their own virtual chats, as we come together and enjoy a National Care for a Cuppa.

Creating your own Care for a Cuppa

You may already have organised your virtual cuppa – you might have hosted one or two already – but if not, it can be very straight forward.

1 Decide on how you are hosting your Care for a Cuppa

Your Care for a Cuppa can be big or small. This could be one-on-one: just agreeing that you’ll make that call and check that everything is okay. That call can make all the difference – taking a break, making a brew and having the chance to talk things through. But you might want to bring more people together; who doesn’t love catching up at a coffee morning or taking time to talk over afternoon tea? And right now, as we’ve all been having to find ways of keeping in touch online, there are more options than ever to organise your event.

  • Zoom: a great platform if you’re someone who has used it already – once your session is set up you can invite people easily, and on-the-day it’s easy to see everyone and have a lively online get together! There’s lots of guidance available as to making the most of using Zoom, including tips to making sure your group is invitation only and secure. You don’t have to pay to use zoom, but that does limit your meetings to 40 minutes.
  • Microsoft Teams: lots of employers are already using Teams so this might be a good option if you want to get colleagues together for a Care for a Cuppa – it could be private, as a safe space for everyone to feel safe to share, or a more public group to all come together to celebrate Carers Week.
  • WhatsApp: you might already have a WhatsApp group that you can use to schedule your event – but if not, it’s an easy way to set up your coffee group and organise your first catch-up. You’ll need the WhatsApp app on your phones or computers and everyone’s contact details, but once set-up you can keep the chat going long after Carers Week.
  • Other platforms: there are other systems you can use – just find the one that you feel comfortable with and that your group can all access. But do make sure to think about security settings and how you can make it a safe space for everyone involved.

2 Send out your invitations

If you’ve run events for Carers Week in previous years, carers you know might really appreciate being invited to a special virtual event that they can involved in without leaving their home.

Just set a time and a date, send out your invitations, and find a way for them to let you know that they’ll be attending – you might want to set a limit of numbers to make sure that everyone has a good time.

Ahead of the day, send out clear joining instructions and let everyone know how long the session should last.

As a handy tip, don’t forget to let people know to give themselves five minutes to allow for making sure they can connect – no-one wants to be tardy to the party!

3 On the day

If you’re using a platform that you’re familiar with, that’s great! If not, you might want to have a test run. But here’s a few more tips that colleagues at Carers UK have picked up from holding our own Care for a Cuppas:

  • ‘It’s nice to know you’re nice to know’ so remind everyone of the etiquette you expect – no talking over one another; make sure everyone has a chance to talk; always be respectful. In fact, behave how you would if you were having your cuppa face-to-face – that way everyone will have a good experience.
  • It’s good for people to have their microphones on mute before your Care for a Cuppa starts – and doing the same when you’re not speaking can really cut out distractions and reduce background noise.
  • Have someone who can ‘manage’ the session – that’s encouraging people to speak or recognising if they want to be quiet for a minute; keeping a track of time and moving things along – or even just helping out when someone has a problem with their tech – and someone is likely to.
  • Think of some general chat topics you can start the session off with – it’s often organic after that, but it’s nice to have an icebreaker to get the conversation flowing.

4 And what’s in a name?

Carers UK’s virtual chats are called Care for a Cuppa – and we’d be thrilled if you want to use the same name for yours. You can even use some of the graphics we’ve made available for you. But if you have another name for yours – that’s great too. Just remember that whatever it’s called, by inviting carers to join us during Carers Week we’re helping create one big National Care for a Cuppa, getting people talking over a slice of cake and a cup of something comforting.

Carers Week

Don’t forget to add your activity to the Carers Week site too: just click to add your Care for a Cuppa

They have lots of useful graphics for you to download by clicking here or you can download our Care for a Cuppa graphic for Twitter of for Facebook.

Please note: Carers UK does not assume any responsibility or liability for your event, or through use of the name Care for a Cuppa

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