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Anglian Water partnered with Carers First in November 2021 to provide grants to give their customers who are caring a much needed break. 41 carers received a grant including Debbie. 

Sarah, 55, from Essex cares for her son, 15, who is autistic and her two grandchildren who have additional needs.  

With her son getting older and attending a specialist school, Sarah thought she was reaching a point in her life where she would have more time for herself. This all changed when Social Services asked her to care for her two grandchildren aged 7 and 5.  

That was three and a half years ago and Sarah admits life since has felt impossible at times.

“My caring role is 24-7 and I have no time for myself. My grandchildren don’t really sleep and want me day and night because of attachment disorder from their traumatic early experiences.” 

Sarah said she was promised support by Social Services but this didn’t materialise and left her close to breakdown. Sarah says: “When you’re so tired, it makes you an emotional wreck and you’re not pleasant to be around.” 

A visit to her GP was a turning point for Sarah. She was referred to a Social Prescriber who introduced her to Carers First.  

Sarah said it was great to talk to someone who understood. “It can be really lonely caring for children with complex needs and even your family don’t always understand.” 

Carers First helped Sarah with her finances with a grant towards her energy bills. They also introduced her to courses on nurturing and attachment where she learnt more about how to support her grandchildren.  

Sarah also received a Moments for Me grant which she is using for Reiki sessions.  

“Reiki is a non-invasive form of message and it really works for me. It allows me to switch off and makes me feel warm and relaxed. It allows me to re-tune and keeps me sane.” 

Sarah says

“Thank you to Anglian Water and Carers First for this grant. I wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise and I’m spacing my 10 Reiki sessions fortnightly, so they last longer.” 

Sarah wasn’t aware of Anglian Water Priority Services but is interested to learn how they can support her.  

Anglian Water - supporting carers

If you care for someone in Lincolnshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough or Milton Keynes, Anglian Water can offer you practical support. 

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Visit our online support section where we have provided advice and guidance on a range of relevant topics to help you in your caring role.

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