Introducing the Adult Carers Forum: Representing the views of carers

Your voice matters to us and in our previous newsletter you will have read about the Adult Carers Forum and how you can get involved.

We will introduce the forum members over the next newsletters; Here Cath tells us why she got involved:

Why are you a member of the forum. If you are a new member, why did you want to join?

I decided to join the Adult Carers’ Forum after taking part in a Caring with Confidence course at North Tyneside’s Carers’ Centre, where I met other carers who shared similar experiences to myself. These ranged from difficulty navigating the social care system, finding respite, finding out about the health condition of the person they were caring for, to name a few. It seemed we all had something in common and it felt good to know you were not alone. During the pandemic, the importance of carers and the vital role they play in society has, I think, become increasingly evident to everyone. When asked if I would like to join the forum, I felt that this might be a good opportunity to ‘do my bit’, to listen to others and use my own personal experience as well as that of others as a means to try and bring about positive change.

Why is listening to carers voices important to you?

I feel it is important to listen to carers not just because they play such an important role but because there are not many channels where carers voices can be heard. Most of the time carers are working in isolation, particularly during the current pandemic. Some are not lucky enough to have the support of friends or family and so their time and energy is totally taken up with caring. This leaves little space for themselves and their wellbeing and can expose them to the risk of carer ‘burn out’. Having worked in mental health in the past, I am well aware of the importance of having your voice heard through the appropriate channels. Carers deserve to be listened to and supported because without their tireless self sacrifice many more demands would be placed on our already overstretched NHS and Social Services.

If you’d like to join Cath and other carers to have your say, contact the Carers’ Centre to get involved!