Our job is to help give carers a voice. The council and NHS are legally obliged to ask people who use different services, including carers, how they should best provide them. We want to give you the opportunity to tell us, and the organisations which affect your life, what you think about the services and support that you use.
Local services say that they are keen to hear carers’ views, so this is your chance to change things, just by sharing your ideas, your experiences and concerns through:
• Open Meetings
• Carer participation
• Parent carers
• Young Carers Voice
• Contact us with your views
A good way to give your view is to come to one of our open meetings. These are free events for carers, where you can meet with other carers, hear about changes to services and support, and ask questions directly to health and social care service providers. We publicise these in Carers News (our magazine and e-bulletin for carers).
There are opportunities for carers to participate in the process of developing services. This is where carers who have an idea for a service change can help to design it as an equal partner with professionals, and where they can really contribute to ongoing service delivery.
You can volunteer to be part of specific group or you may want to consider becoming a carer representative, having input to a council board. Carer representatives attend meetings alongside senior representatives from Health and Social Care. They can take carers’ concerns and issues to these meetings, get updates from professionals and ask questions. They ensure that carers’ issues are kept on the agenda for statutory agencies.
Watch this film
It’s about Cynthia who is a carer representative for Bristol Parent Carers.
If you are a parent caring for a child with additional needs, and want to get your views heard, go to:
Bristol Parent Carers
South Glos Parents and Carers
Contact us with your views
If you want to get your voice heard as a carer, but you are not sure how, please contact us. We are always happy to hear carers’ views. Call 0117 958 9989 or fill in the contact form on this page.
Young carers Voice
Young Carers Voice (YCV) was set up to enable young carers to be seen, heard and recognised. YCV is a group of young carers who meet monthly and act as representatives for young carers. They have worked hard to bring about change and make sure that Local Authorities include the needs of young carers and their families in service and policy development.
Members of YCV have taken part in training professionals and meeting with MPs, local councillors and senior health and social care managers. They also produced a powerful film to share their message with professionals. View this in Film clips.
Hearing directly from young carers is very powerful. It’s much harder for people to ignore the issues young carers face, when they hear it from young carers themselves. As one YCV member puts it…
“We make a difference!”
YCV produces their own newsletter, which is written and designed by young carers.
Download the YCV newsletters below:
What young carers are asking for
Young carers want professionals to:
- be approachable, understanding and trustworthy
- have a knowledge of young carers’ issues
- have more time for them on a 1 to 1 basis
They want the following from Children and Young People’s services:
- someone to talk to
- an opportunity to meet other young carers
- services to be free
- support with transport of reduced or free bus travel
- different kinds of activities
- activities at different times for different age groups
- a break from caring, especially in school holidays
They want schools to have:
- designated staff supporting young carers
- teachers who are non-judgemental and have an understanding of young carers’ issues