Thinkcarer Service update November 2014


Dear colleague,

The icare consortia has been proud to deliver thinkcarer, the Carers’ Mental Health Support Service in Derbyshire and the City of Derby. Working in partnership with many services and the Carers’ Forums we have been able to deliver individual support to carers, training days, awareness raising, involvement at forums and stressbuster sessions and a signposting and information service,

As you may be aware our initial contract was for two years until October 2014 and we have been working with Commissioners to establish how they wished to move forward from this time. We are now in a position to be able to inform you of their decisions.

thinkcarer – Derbyshire County service

The following statement has been given by Derbyshire County Council with regards to the County element of the service:

Derbyshire County Council are pleased to confirm that the Thinkcarer service that supports mental health carers in Derbyshire has been secured for a further year until 30th September 2015. 

The Thinkcarer service has delivered the Carers Mental Health Support Service across Derbyshire and Derby City since 2012.   This service plays a crucial part in recognising and highlighting the valuable role carers have in supporting their loved ones with a mental health problem.  Thinkcarer provide information, assistance and opportunities for carers to ensure that their own health and well-being is maximised. “

We are really pleased to be able to continue this service in the County and look forward to working with mental health carers in Derbyshire during the year ahead.

thinkcarer – City of Derby service

In regards to the thinkcarer contract to deliver the service in the City of Derby the decision has been made by City Commissioners that this service will cease on the 31st December 2014.

However, the support service to City mental health carers is being transferred to and will be provided by Derbyshire Carers Association. We will be doing all we can to work with Derbyshire Carers Association to make the transition as smooth as possible for carers currently using the service. In addition we will be ensuring that all mental health carers have the information they need to access support from Derbyshire Carers Association and their details are provided below. 


Future Carers Services in the City


The City Commissioners have also informed us that the main carers’ contract, for all carers services in the City, will be commissioned in November with a view to the new City Carers’ service to commence on 1st April 2015. Should you have any queries about the future of services that are being commissioned in the city for carers please contact: Jackie Straw Commissioning Manager Derby City Council, The Council House, Corporation Street, Derby DE1 2FS. Telephone 01332 642739.

We would like to take this opportunity to say that we have enjoyed providing the thinkcarer service in Derby over the last two years. We have exceeded our targets and supported well over 400 individual mental health carers in the City. Our involvement with the City and Derby South Mental Health Carers Forum will continue and we look forward to our continued partnership working with Derbyshire Carers Association and the many other stakeholders who have an interest in and provide support to mental health carers in their role.

Our contact details for the County Service remain the same, and are provided below, and we will continue to use our website to provide news and information for all to access.


With thanks and regards

Sinead Dalton

On behalf of the icare consortia



RTC Business Centre

3rd Floor, Kelvin House,

London Road, Derby, DE24 8UP

Telephone: 01332 380224



Derbyshire Carers Association 


Derby Carers Centre, 17 Babington Lane, Derby DE 1TA

Telephone: 01332 200002



Enjoying Nordic Walking

Enjoying Derby

Derbyshire Mind and British Nordic Walking have teamed up to offer Nordic Walking as part of their Enjoying Derby walk programme.

8 group

Project Manager Caron Kirkham said

‘We are delighted and very excited to be offering Nordic Walking to our existing walkers and we are also hoping to attract some new participants.  At Derbyshire Mind we really know the physical and mental health benefits of walking outside.  Our walkers report their moods lifted, walking as a distraction from concerns or anxieties; feeling more confident about walking in the city and getting around on public transport; noticing the changing seasons and wildlife.  They also learn about national and local history through visits to local museums and historic sites.  Many report feeling fitter, having more energy and losing or maintaining weight.’

Catherine Hughes from British Nordic Walking adds-

‘Nordic Walking has additional benefits over ordinary walking and has a number of benefits for people with a wide range of mental health problems.  Nordic Walking poles give extra stability, which is a benefit to people suffering from dizziness (a side effect of some sedatives).  Holding a pole in the hand is reassuring (a sensation similar to holding someone’s hand or an object like worry beads), which can be helpful to people with anxiety and/or tremor.  Nordic Walking increases the range of motion of the hip, shoulder and spine; some anti-psychotic drugs cause muscles stiffness.


6 startThe rhythm and sensation of planting and pushing on the poles at the specified angle can be a distraction from undesirable thoughts, is good for autistic people and can release stress as the walker drives their frustration through the pole strap. By learning to Nordic Walk participants get a boost in self-esteem and confidence.


Nordic Walking works 90% of the muscles.  This means one burns 20-40% more calories than ordinary walking and so can help combat obesity; weight gain is a very common side effect of mental health drugs.  The effort of movement is spread over all the muscle groups so actually feels easier than it is.’


Derbyshire Mind will offer a programme of free taster sessions so people can try Nordic Walking.  Then people will sign up for a six week course to learn the techniques of Nordic walking and then they can access regular 1 hour walks.

The funding to set up the scheme is from the Lottery Awards for All scheme.

Enjoying Nordic Walking will be open to the public, as the Enjoying Derby walk programme is.  This helps combat some of the stigma around mental health.  The cost is £5 per session including pole hire.

1a carryThe next free taster session is on 12 November on Darley Park.  The next 6 week course starts on 19 November on Markeaton Park.

For further details contact Caron on 01332 345966 extension 4 or email  Details of forthcoming sessions will be advertised on the Derbyshire Mind website –

For more information about British Nordic Walking, visit