Forward Carers has 8 years’ experience of using different approaches to engage and co-design services with Carers, that reflect the diversity of Birmingham Carers. We would now like to spread this opportunity across the UK.
Carers Voice is an initiative created by Forward Carers to provide a platform for Carers across the UK to share their voice and have it heard by health professionals, social care and other services. Many Carers often feel unheard and under pressure, therefore we believe that Carers should have more say and equal input around the services that affect them.
What is our aim?
Carers often share their challenges and the obstacles that they face with us and professionals often approach us to find out what Carers want and need or how their services can better support them. Consequently, we have developed Carers Voice as a platform to enable co-production which will benefit both Carers and professionals as well as society. This will also minimise the difficulties Carers experience and will optimise services and support.
What we want to do
- Provide opportunities for Carers across the UK to connect, share information, ideas, and have themed discussions on issues that are important to them.
- Share key issues from conversations with organisations and professionals so that Carers can decide if they would like to continue the conversation in co-production.
- Information that affects decisions that impact Carers is fed back through Carers Voice to improve understanding of ‘why’.
- We will invite professionals to join conversations with Carers and listen to their voices.
What we will do
- We will support Carers to understand what co-production is and how they can influence change so we can reflect on better ways of delivering services. We will share information and support Carers to get involved with different projects taking place across the UK including Birmingham & Walsall.
- We will share information with Carers groups, professionals, organisations and individuals on Carers Voice.
- We aim to Identify ‘hidden Carers’ (people who don’t recognise themselves as Carers and the support available to them).
How will this happen?
1. Regular meetings from April 2023:
– Each meeting will have a theme and will consist of discussion and time for open conversation.
– Discussions and actions from the meetings will be shared with all group members.
2. Any actions outside of the meetings e.g., focus groups, with the participation of group members will be shared with the group.
3. Carers Voice will invite people from health, social care and other organisations when Carers need support to understand topics or discuss them further.
Other ways to participate in Carers Voice:
- Represent Carers at meetings or events.
- Listen to and offer support to Carers e.g., information on their local Carer support service.
- Act as an expert speaker.
Before registering your interest to be a part of the Carers Voice community, you can choose the type of contribution you would like to have, and this would be a discussion we have together to best suit you. This could depend on the time you have available, the commitment you want to have, or it could relate to your interests.
Could I be a part of Carers Voice?
- Do you have lived experience of caring for somebody with a diagnosis including but not limited to; Dementia, Autism ADHD, Mental Health, Parent-Carers and Young Adults?
- Are you a Carer of working age?
- Do you have personal lived experience of caring?
- Do you recognise the value of Carers being involved in services?
- Do you want to help shape services and support available to Carers?
- Do you want to be a part of positive change for Carers?
If you answered yes to one of the above, then we would love to have you on board!
If you are a professional/organisation and would like to request involvement from Carers to share their voice, please complete form here.