Training on representing other carers and carers rights

Carers Support Centre has some exciting forthcoming training on involvement and representing other carers which are being led by Gill Deacon.

The aim of the training is to build up skills to be a representative at meetings for other carers, but you are very welcome to attend anyway even if you’re not currently able to be a carer representative as the skills are useful for any carer.

Each session runs from 10am-1pm and takes place at the Vassall Centre. You don’t have to attend them all.

  • Friday 23 February – roles and responsibilities of carer representatives and equality and diversity issues.
  • Thursday 15 March – communication, including communicating with professionals.
  • Friday 20 April – opportunities for getting involved and how to work together as a team.
  • Tuesday 22 May – legislation and carers’ rights.

Carers who attended this particular series of training said:

“Very useful to meet with carers and share experiences”

“Thanks for the opportunity to attend”

“A really good, friendly, informative session. Makes you realise how much work we still need to do to make a change”

“It increased my knowledge of the carer reps as well as identifying my own strengths and weaknesses”

“Really well presented”

Contact Caroline McAleese, Carers Engagement & Involvement Lead to book on to any of the above training dates or to find out more about becoming a carer representative or having your say in other ways:, 0117 958 9989.

Consultation: South Gloucestershire HomeChoice

The South Gloucestershire Council HomeChoice Rehousing policy sets out how the Council assesses applications for housing and the process for letting to social housing that the Council has nomination rights to.

The current policy contains three bandings. These bands are broad based and applicants within each banding have the same level of priority although their housing circumstances can be very different.

The deadline to feed into this consultation is the 26th March.

To give your feedback click here!

Consultation: Short Breaks for Parent Carers

Bristol City Council has a statutory responsibility to provide a range of short breaks (previously known as respite) to parent carers. This is set out in their Short Breaks Statement jointly developed with Bristol Parent Carers (BPC).  The Targeted Short Breaks services contracts for children and young people up to age 18 all end on 31 March 2019. Targeted services are services that you don’t need a social worker assessment to access.

This survey will ask you about short breaks services and also about:

  • Personal Assistants Service a service to help people find a personal assistant.
  • Exploring widening eligibility for short breaks for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD and children with Social, Emotional & Mental Health (SEMH). There is a section at the end where you can get further information on short breaks.

The deadline to respond is 17th January.

For more information, click here.

Focus Groups for Carers on Talking Therapies

Talking therapies services (otherwise known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies – IAPT) are being recommissioned and redesigned in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.  IAPT services provide support for adults who are experiencing low mood, anxiety and depression, stress, excessive worry or difficulties controlling emotions. These therapies are sometimes known as ‘talking therapies’.  Typical treatments include cognitive behavioural therapies, mindfulness, counselling, couples therapies, psychodynamic therapy, psychosexual therapy, and group-based support.

We’d like to invite you to attend a focus group so that we can make sure that your views on how these services could be improved, what should be included in the redesign and also, any positive experiences that you or the person you care for have experienced (if any) around talking therapies.

There is also an online survey if you’d rather comment anonymously rather than comment as a group. Click here to take part in the online survey.

The dates of the sessions are as follows:

  • Tuesday 9th January from 6-6.45pm in the Dawn James Room, Vassall Centre. There will be food from 5.45pm (or you can have a plate while we run the session).
  • Monday 15th January from 1.30-3pm in the Rowlings Room, Carers Support Centre, Vassall Centre. This time there will be cake!

Both focus groups are the same, and you’d only need to attend one of these. If you would like to attend please click here to contact us and let us know which day you would like to attend.

The questions that we will run through at the focus groups are:

Question 1 – Values and approaches

BNSSG CGG aims to commission a single service with one lead provider and an outcomes-based specification, which places IAPT treatments into a wider social, cultural and economic context, by:

  • embedding equality
  • taking a holistic approach
  • offering a flexible and responsive service
  • deploying a wide range of approaches
  • providing a timely service
  • improving access to the service
  • improving recovery rates
  • communicating strongly

Based on your experiences of IAPT, do you think that these are the right principles and approaches?

Question 2 – Referral

The CCG wants the new service to be more holistic by linking in with other existing services, including:

  • primary care
  • secondary mental health services
  • other health pathways – long-term conditions, medically unexplained symptoms etc.
  • perinatal mental health pathway
  • social care
  • wellbeing and healthy lifestyles provision
  • social prescribing
  • welfare rights/debt advice
  • housing and homelessness services
  • sexual violence services
  • substance misuse services
  • employment and job retention support

Based on your experiences, how do you think this more holistic approach could work?

Question 3 – Geography and place

There are currently geographic inequalities and service differences in the provision of IAPT: your ability to access IAPT is disproportionately determined by where you live.

Based on your experiences, what do we need to think about that would help the service work better for everybody?

Question 4 – Learning and improvement

The CCG want to take an approach to monitoring and improving the service that:

  • sets local outcomes and performance indicators to satisfy national reporting requirements
  • learns from the current services
  • learns from South Gloucestershire’s research pilot
  • adopts practice from elsewhere
  • takes note of national guidance, research and review evidence
  • takes note of the experience of people who have used and not used IAPT services
  • proceeds by testing, exploring and experimenting

What would you like the commissioners to hear about your experiences that would help develop the new IAPT service?

More information about current talking therapies services in Bristol and South Gloucestershire can be found here:

South Gloucestershire

Have your say on Healthy Lifestyle and Wellbeing Services in South Gloucestershire

South Gloucestershire Council’s Public Health and Wellbeing Division are working with other partners to develop more integrated and accessible healthy lifestyle and wellbeing services and support. They want to hear your views on what a new service model should look like.

They are hosting three stakeholder workshops in January for anyone interested in helping to shape services for the future. If you are interested please register via the link below:

Wednesday 17th January, 1.30-3.30pm, The Batch, Warmley
Register here!

Thursday 18th January, 10am-12.00pm, Coniston Community Centre, Patchway
Register here!

Wednesday 24th January, 6.30-8.30pm, South Gloucestershire Council Offices, Badminton Road, Yate
Register here!

You only need to attend one of these events. Three have been put on in order that as many people as possible can be involved.

For further information please contact:
Tel: 01454 864005

New discounts in Bedminster

In addition to the existing discounts in cafes, shops & restaurants on North St, there are now 14 more discounts available for Carers Emergency Card holders on East St & Bedminster Parade.

BDA (Bedminster Domestic Appliances)
Bedminster Flowers
Bizoe Toys
Bubble Play Café
Cut Above
East St Fruit Market
Eddies Coffee Lounge Ltd
Goldminster Jewellers
Refresh Bedminster
Shoe Tappers
Smart Phones
Strongman Moustache
Taunton Leisure

See all available discounts.

Lancaster University Dementia Care Survey

Lancaster University is looking for people with previous or current experiences of caring for a person living with dementia. If this is the case for you, your perspectives could help them to identify outcomes that are important for people with dementia who live at home and establish which outcomes should be a priority.

In earlier phases of this study, Lancaster University identified 54 outcomes that are important to key stakeholders (including people living with dementia) and that are used in existing research.

Participation in this survey involves completing two surveys.

  • In the first survey you will be asked to rate how important each outcome is (from the perspective of a person living with dementia). The first survey will close on 8th January 2018.
  • In the second survey, you will be shown how others have scored each outcome and then asked to reconsider your initial rating. It is important to complete both surveys. The second survey will open in the mid to late January 2018.

As a token of appreciation you will be eligible to claim a £10 Amazon voucher from Lancaster University upon completion of both surveys.

Full details are available this information sheet.

If having read this, you are interested in taking part in this study please click on the survey link.

Lancaster University would like you to initially register using your full name and email address to help track completion of each round, and so they can send you a link to the second survey. Your responses will be anonymous. Upon registration, you will be allocated a unique identifier so that Lancaster University can process all data anonymously.

If you have any questions/ comments about the study /or what is involved, please contact:

Andrew Harding, Research Associate
Tel: 01524 592847

Marie Crane, Research Coordinator
Tel: 01524 592976

Have your say on the re-design and re-commissioning of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Services

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a programme to support people of all ages who are experiencing low mood, anxiety and depression, stress, excessive worry or difficulties controlling emotions. These therapies are sometimes known as ‘talking therapies’.  Typical treatments include cognitive behavioural therapies, mindfulness, counselling, couples therapies, psychodynamic therapy, psychosexual therapy, and group-based support.

The current contracts for IAPT jointly commissioned between Bristol and South Gloucestershire are delivered through 16 separate contracts as part of the model. Services are commissioned for all ages. Services are commissioned for adults only, with an additional 16-18 year old pathway to adult services.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups plan to re-design and re-procure a new IAPT service for people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Have you say about this process via the following survey here. It is open until 12th January.

Carers Support Centre is planning to organise a focus group for mental health carers. If you are interested in taking part in this, contact Caroline McAleese.

Gift a Massage

This December, Hamilton House Wellbeing in partnership with Rethink Mental Illness and Carers Support Centre has launched the ‘Gift a Massage’ campaign to bring free massage treatments to up to 80 carers in Bristol.

Chronically over-worked and under-acknowledged, Carers UK estimates 1 in 8 adults (around 6.5million people) offer long-term unpaid support to a loved one or friend. While this saves the economy £132 billion per year, a significant proportion of carers suffer mental and physical ill health as a direct consequence of the stress and physical demands of their caring role.

How you can help…
This Christmas and New Year we are inviting you to do something special and contribute whatever you like towards a much needed massage for a carer. Massage can bring greater ease to tired muscles and calm the mind but most importantly, going for a treatment provides an opportunity for carers to take time out from their potentially stressful daily schedules and do something for themselves.

• Every £20 raised funds a 30min treatment
• Every £40 raised funds a full hour treatment
• Reaching our £1600 target will fund 40-80 carers to receive a treatment

Gifts can be made via the just-giving page or the Hamilton House shop and as a thank you for your donation you’ll get a complimentary Christmas card designed by resident Hamilton House artist Patrick Atkins.

This campaign runs from 1st December 2017 until 31st January 2018. Treat someone who needs it this Winter!

Consultation: South Gloucestershire Better Care Stronger Communities Funding Review

South Gloucestershire Council is reviewing the impact of the services delivered by: Shopmobility, The Armadillo Senior Cinema, MS Therapy Centre Exercise Groups and WE Care and Repair to decide whether to continue or cease funding these organisations. If you have used or benefited from any of these services or know carers that have, please respond to the survey by 5pm, Wednesday 20 December 2017. Click here to learn more.

Consultation: South Gloucestershire Council Budget and Savings Programme – 2018/19

South Gloucestershire Council is consulting on its capital and revenue budgets, council tax levels for next year (2018/19), and its overall savings plan. It is proposed that 28% of this budget will go towards children, adults and health. The deadline for responses is 12 January 2018. Click here to learn more.

Carers Campaigning Workshop 16th January

Do you want to get your voice heard on the issues that matter to you?

Carers Trust, Carers Support Centre and BANES Carers’ Centre are hosting a campaigning workshop which will aim to help carers campaign on issues that matter to you on Tuesday 16 January 2018, 10am-2pm, Stirling Way Community Room in Keynsham, BS31 1DF.

Continue reading “Carers Campaigning Workshop 16th January”

Consultation: AWP Mental Health NHS Trust Five Year Strategy

Do you have comments about mental health services? Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is launching a five year strategy and are asking for comments on this. One of the key areas that they are consulting on around this strategy is how they can better support service users and carers. The deadline to comment on this is Friday 22 December.

View the draft strategy here and fill out the online survey here.

Consultation: Online Safety

The Internet Safety Strategy looks at how the government can ensure vulnerable people are safe online.

The national consultation about this strategy covers various aspects of online safety including:

  • Fraud and older people
  • Support for parents and carers
  • Adults’ experience of online abuse &
  • Hate crimes against disabled people and other minority groups

View the consultation here.

The deadline for responding to this is midday on the 7th December 2017.

Consultation: South Gloucestershire Ageing Better Plan – 22/11/17

The aim of the Ageing Better Plan is to set out the guiding principles for all organisations working with older people in South Gloucestershire. The plan will set out South Gloucestershire Council’s priorities for the next 5 years and they would like everyone to contribute to it.

South Gloucestershire Council say about the plan, “The Ageing Better Plan brings together the outcomes and priorities that will guide our work to support older people (age 65+), the way we will measure our progress and how we will work to realise our ambitions. It is based on data, evidence and consultation with older people and wider partners across the area.”

There will be an event on Wednesday 22 November 2017, Yate Outdoor Sports Complex between 9.30am – 12.30pm.

You don’t have to book on to this – you can just turn up.

The consultation documents are available online here from your local South Gloucestershire library or One Stop Shop.