Feedback from our carers is essential for all the work we do here at the Carers Centre. If we didn’t speak to carers about what they like and don’t like about our services, we wouldn’t know the best way of shaping and creating services in the future. From phone calls with carers to giving out feedback forms during breaks, we listen to carers in everything we do.
A key way we get feedback about our services from carers is through our Annual Survey, which asks carers about their engagement with our service and if there’s anything they would change. Last year some carers wanted more regular contact with us, to gain a personal service. To address this, we’re reinstating our befriending service, which comes into force this month.
This shows our determination to include carer views in everything we do, and use their feedback to create better services for the future.
Our new project is no different.
At the Carers Centre, we currently have five support groups on offer, but we’re looking to expand this to help even more carers. We’re holding interviews in March to discuss what support groups carers want and how they should be organised. In the meantime, we’ve made an online questionnaire asking our carers for their views on support groups which can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GLP9WH7. If you’re a carer with something to say then I need your help!
If you’re a carer and would like more information or want to get involved in the project, please contact BANES Carers Centre on 01761 431388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow is National Young Carers Awareness Day, a national event aiming to inform the UK of who young carers are and the hidden struggles they face every day. Therefore today, we want to highlight one of our brilliant young carers, who we named our Young Carer of the Year 2015.
Seventeen-year-old Joe Lomax is the main carer for his mum, who suffers with chronic back pain. Joe manages to provide this care while attending college and looking for part time work. This isn’t all: he is becoming increasingly involved in our Young Carers service, acting as a fantastic role model for other young people. Joe’s friendliness, warmth and compassion means he always welcomes new Young Carers with a smile.
During the Young Carers ‘Big Day Out’ trip in August, Joe provided hands on help for the YC team, assisting the youngest boys to build rafts and row boats, while also organising the children effectively. At our bike workshop later that summer, Joe spoke to various trustees about the work he was doing to the bikes, providing an informative and funny description of the day’s events. They were really impressed, which helped their decision to fund more Young Carers activities in the New Year.
Joe is one of our most popular Young Carers and a true example of how amazing these young people are. It was an honour to award him our Young Carer of the Year 2015 and we can’t wait to see him again this year!
Young Carers Awareness Day is on Thursday 28th January – please get involved or donate to support Young Carers like Joe. You can find more information from The Carers Trust here: https://www.carers.org/young-carers-awareness-day
It seems remarkable that 2016 is already upon us and before jumping straight into new activities we wanted to quickly look back at the highlights of the past year.
2015 was an amazing year for the Carers Centre. We held two successful craft fayres which showcased amazing local talent and raised money as well as awareness for carers in BANES. In terms of fundraising we had some brilliant events, like our amazing skydive which raised over £1000 for the centre! Alongside this we held loads of summer breaks for our young carers. We went to Longleat, a water park, horse riding, and even tobogganing!
In the autumn we held our first charity concert with the Mendip Male Voice Choir and Sing Your Heart Out, as well as our annual ‘Celebrating Carers’ ceremony. These were truly uplifting events that inspired everyone who attended. Excitingly, in November we completed the purchase of our Woodlands office, allowing us to provide a permanent place for carers. Then, to finish off the year, we were one of the chosen charities for the Saltford Santa Dash – what could be better than hundreds of Santas running to raise cash for the CC?!
2016 is set to be just as amazing, with a huge range of activities, breaks and events planned for this year. We already have a whole host of activities underway at both centres, from art classes to information workshops. In the spring we have a focus group project taking place, as well as more Carers Voice meetings. We’re even planning a sponsored walk for Carers Week in June so watch this space! We will also be holding more craft fayres, loads of activities for young carers in the summer and ‘Celebrating Carers’ in the Autumn so we can reward even more carers for their unseen, amazing work.
We want to wish every carer a happy new year and we look forward to seeing you all in 2016!
News and views from Bath North East Somerset Carers Centre