At Caring Together, we believe that carers really are the experts when it comes to issues affecting them and those they care for, and so we are committed they should be at the heart of all that we do.
And that is why we have launched a new carer voice and involvement plan. This is designed to:
- Set out our approach to promoting the voices of carers.
- Make it clear to carers how they can get involved in all aspects of our work and throughout their caring journey.
- Give an overview of the work being done by the organisation to promote the voices and involvement of carers as experts by experience.
- Highlight examples of the ways in which we involve carers.
Caring Together chief executive Miriam Martin said, “We believe carer voice is essential to us being able to ensure our work is relevant and delivers lasting impact for carers. We need to understand their needs and experiences in delivering every area of our work.
“Whether someone is a current or former carer their views, experiences and insights matter.
“We are also committed to helping the voices of carers being heard by others – to shape the work other people and organisations do, and to increase the wider awareness of what it means to be a carer.”
Steve Acklam is one of the carers on the carer voice and involvement steering group which helped shape the plan. He said, “The nature of the caring role often means carers feel alone and in need of support to help them cope.
“It is therefore critical that organisations such as Caring Together are available to provide this assistance, but to succeed they must have a clear understanding of the need.
“Only carers themselves can shape this understanding and Caring Together has shown great awareness and sensitivity in setting up the carer voice and Involvement opportunities based on a systematic plan that captures and responds to carers views and concerns.
“If you are a carer and want your voice to be heard do not hesitate to contact the charity; your time will not be wasted.”
At Caring Together one of our core values is that everything we do is based on what carers are saying will make the greatest difference for them and the people they care for. Similarly, people who have been carers have got invaluable insight into what works, but also what doesn’t work.
Therefore, it is essential that carers can see how their voices influence not only our work, but also the work of other organisations.
We are committed to learning from the experiences and insight of former carers when their caring role comes to an end. In addition to the benefit they bring to our work, we believe it can also be beneficial for the former carer.
We have identified four areas of our work where the voice of carers is key.
- Design, delivery and evaluation of services.
- Carer awareness (including fundraising and influencing policy).
- Organisational governance.
- Workforce recruitment and development.
You can find out more about our carer voice and involvement work, including how you can get involved at caringtogether.org/forum