Health and Wellbeing

Devon Carers recognised by the Carers Trust

Posted on: 7 March 2013

Devon Carers, the information, support and short breaks service for carers,  has been accepted as a Network Partner of Carers Trust.

Carers Trust, a new charity formed from The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care, work to improve support and recognition for carers. They have a network of 300 partners who work together to ensure help and support is available for half a million carers across the UK.

To become a partner Devon Carers had to demonstrate they are carer-led and carer focussed, and they provide high quality adult and young carers services. The Carers Trust met with carers and staff to review the service; their inspector found that Devon Carers is “a dynamic and vibrant organisation, which strives to improve services and outcomes for carers.”

Devon Carers brings together eight local voluntary organisations, in a consortium led by Westbank, in a unique partnership to run carers services in Devon. Devon Carers is the first consortium to become a partner of Carers Trust; their inspector found that this collaborative approach with local partners and carers was a key factor in the success of Devon Carers.

Councillor Stuart Barker, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for adult carers said: “This is very good news and again illustrates that county council’s significant investment in this service is paying off. The consortium of eight groups working  together as Devon Carers has simplified  carer support to all carers and  I’m delighted that the Carers Trust has recognised the hard work and commitment with this national recognition for their work.”

Devon Carers operates a helpline, as part of an annual £1.3 million investment by Devon County Council and NHS Devon. This has made access to carer support simple and timely wherever they live in the county to help them to stay healthy and live a normal life outside of caring.

The benefits of becoming a Carers Trust partner include, connection to a network of similar organisations doing the same work, the quality of the services will be nationally endorsed, and the opportunity to bid for funding for local projects.

Matthew Byrne, manager of Devon Carers, said: “Achieving the Carers Trust Quality Mark for adult and Young Carers services is an exciting development for us; the award is recognition of the hard work and commitment of Devon Carers staff, but we are not going to rest on our laurels.

“Membership of Carers Trust gives us the chance to find out about other organisations working with carers – sharing best practice and innovation – and to draw on expertise, advice and information to enable us to further improve our services in Devon.”

Sonia Barton, chair of the Governance Board of Devon Carers said: “When we first talked with carers about joining the Trust they were keen to know that there would be real benefits for them. Our partnership with Carers Trust will help us to identify more new carers, and will enable local carers to be part of a strong, national voice for carers.

“Membership gives Devon Carers access to new funding opportunities, for example Carers Trust is The Co-operative’s charity of the year and will be focusing on raising £5million for services for young carers, and also opens up new grants funds to individual applications from local carers.”

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said:  “I am delighted to welcome Devon Carers as the first new partner of Carers Trust since we were established nearly a year ago. It was great to see carers so involved and to see close up the excellent partnership between Devon Carers, commissioners and councillors.”
 
Carers in Devon can get support and information at the ‘first stop’ from the helpline advisor, as well as through a network of local carers support workers who provide face to face support and activities for young carers to enjoy being young people. There are also opportunities to meet other carers in their area for mutual support, friendship and short breaks away from caring.

The helpline (08456 434 435) is open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.

Further information

There are an estimated 82,000 carers In Devon, of which around 12,500 do not have reliable support from their family and friends to be able to take a short break from caring.

Devon Carers is made up of eight local groups across Devon. Led by Westbank, the local groups are East Devon Council for Voluntary Service (CVS), Exeter CVS and South Devon Carers Consortium along with , Hikmat Unite Mid Devon, Taw and Torridge Voluntary Services and Young Devon.

More information about Devon Carers is available here.

More information about The Carers Trust is available here.

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