Sunderland has a multi-agency Carers Strategy which aims to influence both statutory and voluntary agencies in the city to support carers as well as they can. Supporting carers is everyone’s business as carers in the city are a vital and often hidden resource.
We know that carers do not always get the support that they need in their caring role so the strategy members would like to know where carers in Sunderland think the gaps are and how they can be addressed.
It is also important in these days of economic difficulties for all for carers to be able to say which forms of support/services are the most valuable to them and help them most so that organisations can be most effective.
Below are key areas that we know really help carers in their day-to-day lives:
Health and Wellbeing (including emotional support)
Support for young carers
Training and education for your caring role
Emergency and Future Planning
Brokerage and Support Planning (for the person you care for)
Money and Benefit Advice
One to one support and listening ear
Peer and community support (support groups)
Being treated as a whole family – so that agencies see the bigger picture and care is joined up
Being able to have a break from your caring role (activities)
Advocacy (support at meetings, helping you put your case and talking to people on your behalf)
Help to stay employed or to get back into work
Having the chance to influence services (being a carer representative/ being involved in consultations etc.)
What we need you to do:
There are 3 main types of information we would like:
1. If you have had good support in any of these areas say who the support was from AND who signposted you to that support.
For example: You may have had welfare rights support because you had been signposted by social services or by a friend.
You do not need to comment on all areas - only those that you think apply to you. Think of all of the health and social care agencies as well as voluntary sector agencies you have come across. It might not always be obvious to you always how support has helped you.
For example: You may actually feel less stressed and relaxed simply because the person you care for has been offered a Telecare service from the council or you have had an exercise on prescription referral from a GP.
2. If you needed support but did not receive it from an organisation you felt should have supported you let us know what that support was and what the effect of not receiving that support was.
For example: you may have come into contact with an organisation that did not support you to identify yourself as a carer which meant that you struggled without support for a long time.
3. Let us know what support you have most valued.
We appreciate that carers are very busy so this is not meant to be time consuming. Even if you can make a couple of comments about good support or lack of support that will be really helpful. You are of course able to include our services as a Carers’ Centre (good or bad) in your comments as well as all other agencies.
Either email back your comments to: Eibhlin@sunderlandcarers.co.uk
Or write some comments and post to:
Sunderland Carers’ Centre
If you would like any further information or just want to make comments over the phone, please ring Eibhlin (Eileen) on (0191) 549 3768.