Reporting back to Carers on progress made during 2015
Thanks were given to Bernard Disley who has served as Treasurer for several years and has now stepped down with Valerie Fitch taking on the role. Janet Fellows has also stepped down as the Chair and her contribution was also noted with thanks.
Jacqui introduced Sheila Marsh who has taken the Chair. Sheila talked to the group about the role of Herefordshire Carers Support in helping carers to receive the recognition and support they deserve. Helping people who care for family or friends to see their role and value it. Helping them cope with the demands and stresses. Helping get their voice heard, individually and as a group.
“I am very proud to be part of all this now as the new Chair of Trustees. I’d like to thank Jacqui and all the staff for their focus, care, dedication and going the extra mile in increasingly difficult times, our volunteers for all their willing help with activities and fundraising, the trustees for calm support of the staff and steering Herefordshire Carers Support, especially to Janet now stepped down as Chair but thankfully still a trustee, and to Bernard former treasurer and to new trustees Ian and Natalie for stepping up and keeping the board fresh.
We must also acknowledge the invaluable support of our sponsors: Lloyds Bank, Everson Trust, Hereford Lions and Sainsbury’s.”
Sheila then gave an overview of the year and encouraged people to read the full Herefordshire Carers Support Impact Report for 2015-16 available as a hard copy on request.
The following report outlines what we have done to raise awareness of the plight of Carers and the direct support we have offered to help them to maintain their caring role. Last year we said that we would focus on these areas: connecting Carers, campaigning for Carers, finding new ways of working, maintaining our quality and continuing to manage our resources well. We hope you feel that we have done what we said we would do.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers who have worked with the team who have done a magnificent job, and also record our thanks to the Trustees for their unstinting support. Three new Trustees joined this year: Natalie Kempshall, Ian Stead and Valerie Fitch.
Herefordshire Carers Support wishes to thank Eveson Trust, Sainsburys and Lloyds Bank Foundation who have generously supported our work throughout this year.
Progress from the Signatories during 2015/16
The Carers’ Charter has been produced by Carers of Herefordshire Carers Support to promote better recognition and support for Carers. Carers provide invaluable support to some very vulnerable people and this contribution needs to be valued, acknowledged and respected.
The Charter confirms the values, aims and standards that will be adopted by agencies working in partnership with Carers within Herefordshire. It will also be used to monitor outcomes for Carers.
The Carers’ Charter is based on the key National Standards and includes two further standards that reflect the need to see Carers in their own right and to have effective processes for assessing their needs. The standards are intended to describe what a good service to Carers should look like and to monitor outcomes for Carers.
Carers Annual Day 2015
Speakers at this year’s event, held on 1 October, included Staff and Trustees who reported on the last year’s activities and developments and how the budget has been spent. There was an update from the organisations who have signed up to the Carers Charter telling us how they are meeting the standards and Faye Ladd from the Marches GP Practice in Leominster spoke about her role as the Carers Lead and the policies and practice that she has introduced to make sure Carers are well provided for within her practice.
The Young Carers team showed this year’s DVD which includes Yong Carers and Young Adult Carers saying what they like about HCS and their clubs, holidays and trips.
The session ended with Carers telling us what they like about HCS, What they think we could do better, and about new ideas they have that we might explore.
Annual Review and Report on the progress made during 2014/15
Looking back through 2014, it is clear that the expected austerity measures have had a clear impact with fewer people being able to access services that are publicly funded. However, Herefordshire Council with the Clinical Commissioning Group made a commitment to services for Carers and recognised the need to strengthen the unpaid family Carer network in order to respond to the Care Act. This Act is the most fundamental reform of social care law in over 60 years and created a single modern legal framework for adult care and support and for the first time gave Carers the same rights as the people they care for. The case for supporting Carers to make a sustainable contribution has therefore been enshrined in the law, however what is less clear is the recognition that Carers are people with aspirations outside of caring and Herefordshire Carers Support (HCS) continues to make this case in order that the social and health inequalities experienced by Carers can be reduced, by tackling the barriers they face to accessing services.
‘Click here’ to view the full report.