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Carers Trust slideshow

Celebrating Success: Attending the Reflect Connect & Learn Conference by Carers Trust

In the fast-paced world of carer commissioned projects, it’s important to stop and reflect on the success of what has worked well. 

So, when we were invited to attend the Making Carers Count: Reflect Connect & Learn conference hosted by Carers Trust in Birmingham on May 17 & 18, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with some of the other 28 individual partner organisations. All of these carers support organisations have received funding as part of the Making Carers Count Multi-Partner Programme.

The Making Carers Count: Reflect Connect & Learn conference gave us the opportunity to dissect and analyse the success of the whole project so far. It was like getting a backstage pass to the strategies, methodologies, and best practices that have brought about exceptional outcomes as part of Making Carers Count, and we share some of our own project highlights below.

Making Carers Count Project Success So Far for Sussex Carers Partnership

  • 403 ethnically diverse carers directly supported across West Sussex, East Sussex and Brighton & Hove.
  • 24 local partnership working initiatives of activities delivered.
  • 15 carers supported to access culturally and/or bilingually appropriate counselling support, including in the following languages other than English: Farsi, Hindi, Lithuanian, Polish, Punjabi, Turkish, Urdu.
  • 9 social events and activities delivered for carers.
  • Co-design of bespoke e-learning Carer Awareness Training with carers as part of our Sussex Carers Reference Group, aimed at professionals in clinical and non-clinical roles (to be launched July 2023).

The power of experience cannot be overstated. And it was equally invaluable to hear stories shared by other partners shedding light on the challenges encountered, lessons learned, and innovative approaches taken to overcome obstacles. The conference was a goldmine of knowledge, and it was great to network with like-minded professionals, which has fostered collaboration and opened doors to potential partnerships.

A recent example of this in West Sussex, is our teams working with the local authority to commission a new role for a Refugee/Asylum Seeker Carer Wellbeing Worker, where the successful candidate will be working to develop and deliver information, advice and support to carers in these communities both individually and in groups, ensuring this is provided at a time and place and in ways that meet their needs. To prepare for this, we were grateful to link in with Helen McAdam at Newcastle Carers (also a City of Sanctuary) to understand how they recruited for the role and how the delivery aims were informed by local carers.

We therefore returned from the conference armed with new insights and success stories to help inspire and motivate our work with carers pan-Sussex. And the highlight, of course, of the 2-day conference was hearing from carers as part of the plenary sessions, where carers voiced what they felt needed to improve locally for them to make a difference, and how they felt this was being done (or could be achieved) through projects like Making Carers Count.

Therefore, it was brilliant to hear from other carers support organisations about their tried-and-true principles and motivating to know that we all have a shared vision for carers in our local communities, where they are seen, heard and included.

By Adeelah Khan, Carer Engagement Co-ordinator, Carers Support West Sussex.

If you are a carer and would like to find out more about Making Carers Count, please visit our supporting all communities page online.

For professionals, working and supporting carers in Sussex, learn more here, which includes links to downloadable carers support leaflets in over 11 languages