A new Sitting Service is now in operation for Derbyshire. The Service has been brought about from a partnership between Derbyshire County Council, Links CVS, the Derbyshire BME Forum, Joined Up Careers and the DWP. 

A six-month pilot project commenced in May following a successful bid for funding by Links CVS to the National Lottery Community Fund. The Service is specifically targeted for the needs of BME communities in the county and will provide essential respite for individuals who act as informal and unpaid carers within their own family or community. 

This is an important and much-needed resource that offers further support and companionship in a culturally sensitive manner for those who may find it hard to access this from elsewhere. The ‘sitters’ who provide the respite service were recruited from eight individual Community Associations and all members completed a comprehensive training programme that was planned by Joined Up Careers and facilitated by the Derbyshire County Council Learning Pool, including online courses and virtual training sessions. 

A total of 17 sitters are currently offering respite to carers and their families and an expansion of the Service is planned in the coming weeks with more members already keen to join. 

A Celebration Event for the Sitting Service will be held on Thursday 10 June at the Asian Association in Chesterfield to mark the achievement of the sitters and the work of the partnership. 

Any enquiries on joining the Service can be made to Sushri Wells (Project Co-ordinator) at sushri.wells@linkscvs.org.uk or Brian Grant (Project Manager - Joined Up Careers) at brian.grant@nhs.net