Why we want carers involved
- Many carers still go years without any support because they don’t even realise they are carers. We constantly need to educate people on what is going on for carers – our audience isn’t just carers, or funders, but also those who are yet to be carers.
- Carers and former carers are the greatest ambassadors for carers – they tell the most powerful stories.
- Involving them ensures our messages remain topical and current (much more than statistics which date quickly).
- Can help to motivate/win around employees/supporters/organisations.
- Carers will be helping us decide who we need to get our messages to.
- It empowers carers and helps them to know they are not alone.
How carers can be involved
- Timely surveys/consultations (ours and others) – carers will be able to shape what questions are in there, as well as how we will be surveying carers – the balance needs to be right between asking carers what matters to them, not overwhelming them and actually acting on what carers are telling us.
- Forums bringing together groups of carers to discuss issues/challenges and speak together about how to go about implementing change. These might be ones run by other organisations that we link carers into and support them to access, of they might be ones we run ourselves.
- Feeding into carer forums of other organisations – we believe that if we are being asked to attend as a carers organisation, then carers will also have the opportunity to input directly.
- Helping to design and deliver our carer awareness-raising sessions.
- We will ensure carers are represented in other surveys so their voices are heard.
- Sharing experiences through media opportunities, such as radio, TV and social media, as well as raising awareness through our fundraising appeals.
- Becoming a Carer Friendly Tick Award assessor – reviewing applications from organisations who are wanting to be recognised as ‘carer-friendly’.
- Helping with the planning and delivery of conferences and campaigns on key carer issues.
- Raising awareness internally – to trustees and employees meetings/training.
How carers will know the outcome of their involvement
- We will share the findings of any surveys that we do, including what we plan to do in response.
- We will include updates on carer involvement in awareness-raising activity in our publications such as the carers magazine, ebulletins and on our website/social media.
- We will ensure that all Carer Friendly Tick assessors know the outcome of the applications they have assessed.
- Through the development of a ‘you said, we did’ section of our website.
How carers have already been involved
You can see below how Steve Acklam has been involved with our carer voice and involvement steering group and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and how Pam Artley has been part of raising awareness and understanding of the role of carers. You can also click here to download a full copy of our carer voice and involvement plan [PDF, 3MB] including more examples of carer voice and involvement.