Carers Support West Sussex, a leading organisation for carers across the county, has a challenging target to reach out to up to 84,000 carers and offer them support.
The charity gave evidence for the County Council’s new Cross Cutting Scrutiny Task & Finish Group Report on caring for the carers and the July debate by full council which is helping to raise the profile of West Sussex carers.
The NHS and County Council are putting the spotlight on the needs and importance of the army of unpaid carers which saves them around £957m each year.
Carers Support West Sussex works to help reduce the negative impact a caring role can have on a carer’s health, wellbeing, social life, education and employment. The charity is recruiting carers for a new county-wide Carer Network to give carers a stronger voice and urging carers to join to get their voice heard and link with other carers.
Dame Philippa Russell, DBE, Chair of the national Standing Commission on Carers, new Patron for the charity said: “I welcome the idea of County Council Carers’ Champions and theme of ‘listening to carers’ and recognising their diversity.
West Sussex has a long tradition of supporting both carers and disabled people to live ordinary lives. The Care Bill, now going through Parliament sets an ambitious new agenda for co-producing local services with carers themselves and those who use services. But this means developing new partnerships and working together to raise the profile of carers and ensure that they are truly recognised, valued and supported.
The Phase One Report of the Scrutiny Task and Finish Group on Support for Carers offers a real opportunity to develop this new agenda and Carers Support West Sussex will be keen to take that agenda forward and ‘make it happen for carers.”
Chief Executive Jennie Musgrove says that Carers Support West Sussex is aware of all the issues and areas of concern raised by the report. She commented: “Creating a single over-arching forum for carers is one of the charity’s top ambitions. This can be created in partnership with the rich range of voluntary sector networks and special interest groups. We are passionate about this.
“We want to ensure carers can make easy connections and have their voice heard. Carers are so often socially isolated. We aim to help uncover hidden carers and tell them about support available, especially those carers from Black and Asian Minority communities who so often do not ask for any so often do not ask for any support at all.
“We have a single number for West Sussex Carers to call….0300 028 8888.”