This Carers Week (10-16 June), the Lambeth Carers Collaborative Strategy Group is launching an ambitious new Action Plan for carers. The theme of this year’s Carers Week is getting carers connected in their communities and the Carers Collaborative aims to do just that. Through the Action Plan it plans to better connect carers to local support and information to support them in their caring role, reduce isolation, combat the financial strain of caring and improve carer health and wellbeing.
The Action Plan 2019-20 sets out four priority areas:
• working with local partners and services – to improve support and ensure carers become everyone’s business
• building the Carers Collaborative network – to bring together carer organisations and carer leads in Lambeth
• raising awareness of carers in Lambeth – to increase understanding within local services and the wider community
• developing a Carers Passport for Lambeth – to recognise and value carers.
Carers can help shape local policy and practice by joining the monthly Carers Voices forum. Next meeting on 20 June will be looking at how carers can get involved in making the Action Plan a reality.
Staff or volunteers working with Carers in Lambeth can join a new network, the Carers Collaborative Network, to share information, ideas and to find new opportunities to work together. Its first meeting is on 16 July in Brixton.
The Carers Collaborative is made up of Age UK Lambeth, Carers4Carers, Carers’ Hub Lambeth, Lambeth Learning Disability Assembly, Lambeth Parent Forum, London Borough of Lambeth, NHS Lambeth CCG and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. It aims to build on the meaningful work already taking place in Lambeth for carers to help to improve their quality of life.
James Norris, Lambeth resident and Carers Collaborative Strategy member said:
“Having been a carer for close family members who suffered from both Dementia and a paralysing stroke I know how easy it is to feel disconnected from the outside world and sometimes feel forgotten as the real world races by.
“With the increasing number of people suffering long term illness and disability at all ages of life and the age of carers ranging widely from children to pensioners the strain of caring for loved ones is getting increasingly complicated and yet is vital to the wellbeing of society as a whole.
“The fact that the carers strategy is recognising the many problems facing carers and seeking to find help and support for them in order to lead more fulfilling and enjoyable lives is a major step forward in community thinking.”
Councillor Ed Davie, Carers Collaborative Member and Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, London Borough of Lambeth said:
“By enabling more people with disabilities, ill health and other challenges to live more independently carers play a vital role in supporting the whole community as well as their loved ones. Therefore it’s only right that the community should do as much as possible to support carers. Having met lots of carers I get the message they want more action and less talk so I am delighted to see this action plan that carers and those of us aiming to support them better have put together. Now it’s time for action.”
Adrian McLachlan, Lambeth GP and Chair of NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“Carers Week is a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of caring and the huge contribution unpaid carers make to our community. In Lambeth, we want to make sure that the focus stays on carers not just for a few days but for every day of the year. The development of this Action Plan is an important step towards supporting the health and wellbeing of carers across Lambeth.”
For more information about the Carers Collaborative Network or the Carers Voices forum meetings, contact the carers strategy development manager at Carers’ Hub Lambeth on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7501 8970
For information on the Lambeth Carers Strategy see the NHS Lambeth CCG website.