Travelling with a friend or relative who has a medical condition or needs support can be difficult. It may be that the person who you are travelling with cannot be left on their own – even for a short time. It may be that they find unfamiliar surroundings stressful.
Norfolk Family Carers has been working with Norwich Airport, which is keen to improve its awareness of carers; people who travel with a relative or friend who cannot manage on their own.
The Airport already offers a special assistance programme for passengers with reduced mobility (currently required under EU law) and wanted to enhance this with support for carers too. Jamie Price, Security Manager at Norwich Airport, says whilst they have trained members of staff available to help, it’s important to let the airport know in advance that you’re coming:
“Please ensure assistance is pre-booked through your airline/travel agent or direct at the airport at least 48 hours before you fly www.norwichairport.co.uk/special-assistance/. If you haven’t booked we will try to help you, of course, but will always give priority to passengers who have booked assistance in advance”.
The Airport also offers pre-travel visits for people with hidden disabilities such as autism or dementia and their carers, so they can familiarise themselves with the airport and its procedures prior to travelling or even prior to booking a flight from Norwich Airport.
Alison Easton from Norfolk Family Carers has been really impressed with the forward-thinking attitude of the airport:
“Norwich Airport has already done a huge amount to support more vulnerable passengers and their relatives or friends. Many key members of staff have had Dementia Awareness Training and the airport is also keen to work on the feedback it receives from anyone who uses the special assistance programme. We were pleased to be able to speak to the airport about some of the pressures family carers can find themselves under when travelling and hope to be able to share their advice to ‘pre-book special assistance’ with as many carers as possible.”
Norfolk Family Carers provides practical and emotional support to anyone who is looking after a friend or relative – from those who have recently found themselves doing more for someone, to people who are providing round-the-clock care for a loved one. The charity has been supporting unpaid carers in Norfolk since 1993.
For more information or to find out more, please call 01603 219924 or email [email protected] The website can be found at www.norfolkfamilycarers.org