Communities are essentially the set of relationships we have with the people and places around us whom we go to for support with our lives. Caring for a loved one is what makes us human. Yet too often the people, places and services within our communities are not sufficiently recognising those providing unpaid care and as a result do not have the right support in place to respond to their needs leaving carers to struggle on alone with detrimental effects of their health and finances.
The “Reach, Connect, Support” programme, responds to a proven need and aims to bring together people, communities, and professionals to support people looking after a loved one. By taking a community development approach to address this often hidden issue, we will make our communities better places to live in sickness and in health. Supporting people to manage caring alongside their own health and well-being to prevent carer breakdown and isolation.
mobilise a network of volunteers and their personal networks to reach, connect and support carers
Activities» Breaking carer isolation via peer support, social networks and talking to volunteers (carers, former carers) who understand what they need
» Empowering volunteers, all carers or former carers, to use personal experience/skills to help local carers get help support and information they need
» Building skills, knowledge and confidence of volunteers (carers, former carers) to be active in community to help those new to caring or without help
Number of volunteers recruited, trained, active and reporting regularly using Volunteer Evaluation Framework and digital platform - the Volunteer Hub
Focus on early intervention to build communities, local support and boost carer resilience
Activities» Actively connect carers to local support and info and national support to help them manage their caring role
» Facilitating carers engagement and involvement with local carer groups, charities and services
» improving local collaboration by encouraging links between local volunteers, carers, local groups and services
An increase on baseline data which shows more carers received support from local services and self report feeling less isolated, managing caring role better; plus case studies
increase understanding of 'caring' via awareness raising with employers, digital and local groups
Activities» promoting carer friendly communities through Carers Week (June) and Carers Rights Day (Nov)
» Help carers juggle work and caring or returning to work by working with local employers via carer friendly policies/practices and mentoring schemes
» Develop network of local carer-friendly employers who understand how caring could impact on work and open to adapting work practices
» Raising awareness and understanding of caring amongst health and care professionals and need to signpost carers to local or national groups for help
An increase from baseline data which shows employers and local groups in community self reporting better awareness of caring, carers needs and about local support for carers.
Harness the impact and effectiveness of local networks to better reach, connect and support carers
Activities» Establish collaborations to better promote local services and support to carers using Carers Week (June) and Carers Rights Day (Nov.)
» Encourage local volunteers to signpost carers to local carers groups and services and share details locally as part of network of support
» Cascade up to date information about national policy, legislation and guidance affecting carers to local groups and service providers.
An increase from baseline in number of professionals reporting better able to recognise and signpost carers to local and national support, services and information to help caring
1 in 8 adults are caring for someone, unpaid. This project will help ensure that they are connected to the right local and national advice, information and support services to help them to better manage their caring responsibilities alongside taking better care of carers' own health and wellbeing. It will help local carers feel less isolated, better supported and better informed about what help and support is available to them. It is an early intervention and prevention project using local vols
Key risk is whether we can recruit local volunteers who are caring or who are former carers - this impacts on our reach and ability to connect effectively with local groups, services and influencers. We know based on 50 years knowledge that carers gain greatest benefit from speaking to another carer. We will have a robust, flexible and clear recruitment communications campaign in place, which can be tailored to boost take up.
We have an established monitoring and evaluation process, with monthly reporting to SMT and quarterly reporting to the Board. This ensures that we can provide regular updates and annual reports to donors - digitally and in Caring Magazine as print
Budget - Project Cost: £118,763Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £81,466 Salaries Volunteer Officers £26,500 Volunteers Training, travel, expenses, resources and handbooks etc. £10,797 overheads office costs, stationery etc
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Welsh Gov £33,754 Guaranteed Waterloo Foundation £18,000 Guaranteed Donations £5,000 Guaranteed
We are targeting as many of the 1 in 8 adults currently caring in Wales as possible - working nationwide and locally. They will benefit from direct advice, information and support to; navigate the system, get the right practical care in place, have a greater feeling of recognition, feel less isolated, feel better supporter by the relationships with their communities and services, feel supported to maintain work or get back
Behind every person with a disability or long term illness is often a person caring for them. It is estimated that there are over 384,056 people in Wales caring for a loved one who may be seriously ill, older or disabled. With an ageing population and growing number of people needing care, demand for care is rising. Beneficiaries are; carers in Wales, the people they look after, the communities they live in and the professionals they come into contact with.
Carers Wales leads on the provision of the latest advice, information and peer support for carers and professionals nationally and is connected to the local organisations who provide practical support locally. As the only membership charity for carers, a trusted expert on caring and a national support network, Carers Wales is well positioned to create the Wales wide momentum needed to harness better connected support for carers through the communities they live in.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Volunteer and Engagement Officer - community outreach and engagement
Director - project lead and coordinator