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Supporting All Communities
Carers Support West Sussex values diversity. We recognise that Carers, staff, volunteers and partners with different backgrounds, skills, attitudes and experiences can help to shape how our organisation works by contributing fresh ideas, valuable insights and new perceptions.
Supporting All Nationalities and Religions
At Carers Support West Sussex, we understand that Carers and their family members who have relocated to the UK from other countries may face challenges in accessing assistance and might have concerns about cultural sensitivity.
Our compassionate staff are here to provide support tailored to your needs, including translated written information and assistance in your native language. We deeply respect your cultural and religious beliefs, ensuring a confidential and understanding approach.
We offer flexible support options, such as in-person meetings at your preferred location (home, office, or elsewhere), phone conversations, or communication via email.
Our assistance includes:
- Helping you find relevant services in your area.
- Advocating on your behalf with organisations.
- Arranging interpreters for meetings if required.
- Explaining processes and timelines.
- Providing a confidential and empathetic listening ear.
- Ensuring you never feel alone in your caregiving journey.
Here are some of the types of things Carers have asked us to help with:
- “My grandparents get confused and distressed at hospital appointments as they only speak Cantonese. I cannot always go with them as I work. Can you help?”
- “How can I find Arabic speaking carers, to help me look after my elderly mother?”
- “My daughter is depressed and I feel so helpless. I need somebody to talk to in Urdu but I am worried about people finding out. Who can I call in confidence?”
- “My Polish friend is struggling with money. She needs help with carers benefits and filling in forms. Who can help?”
- “My son is disabled and I need some help. My partner has left and I have no family in the UK. I don’t know where to start.”
One of our aims as a caring organisation is to ensure that LGBTQ Carers are treated with the same respect and dignity afforded to other Carers. We understand that as a LGBTQ Carer you may feel additional reservations about seeking support, on top of the usual worries other Carers may have.
Sometimes previous bad experiences may even stop you from coming forward at all-until you reach a point you can no longer cope and have no choice.
Common concerns are:
- Will I feel pushed to ‘come out’ to service providers?
- Will I be respected and treated with dignity if I wish to disclose my own or the person I care for’s sexual orientation?
- Will specific issues I am facing be listened to and understood?
- Will I be offered services that are appropriate to me?
Our organisation wants to create a safe and welcoming environment that supports and encourages LGBTQ Carers to ask for the help they are so often missing out on. Our support staff will provide opportunities to talk about your sexual orientation, should you wish to. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to! We will talk to you about confidentiality and how we protect information you share with us. We understand you may want to talk about specific issues you are facing as an LGBTQ Carer.
Whatever your caring situation, if you would like to speak to someone about your caring role, we will listen to you and respond to you in an empathic and respectful way and help you to look at solutions that may help to improve your situation and your own wellbeing. Allsorts Youth have now delivered four LGBTQ Awareness Training sessions to Carers Support West Sussex staff, including Wellbeing Support Workers, Managers and Trustees. Staff training forms part of our commitment to understand issues and discrimination faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning people helping us to assess how inclusive and accessible our services are to LGBTQ Carers.
Supporting Gypsies, Romas and Travellers
Gypsies, Roma and Travellers are the largest ethnic Minority group in West Sussex, but fear of discrimination (or prejudice) can mean they are the least likely to ask for support. Our wellbeing support workers continually increase their knowledge and understanding of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture, by working with Traveller organisations and listening to Carers from the community.
We aim to be a service that Traveller communities feel confident they can contact without needing to hide their identity, where they will be listened to and supported without fear of racism, prejudice or discrimination. We know how hard it can be to trust those offering help outside your family or community.
Although close communities will naturally support their families and friends, unpaid Carers don’t have to do it alone. Looking after someone else’s needs is often an act of love, duty and privilege. It can also be tiring, stressful and at times lonely. This can be due to the experience of, or the constant fear of, prejudice, racism or other types of discrimination. Add the worries and strains often associated with caring to this stress and it can make it extremely difficult to cope. People in the GRT community often develop coping strategies such as hiding their identity and when they are facing difficulties are very unlikely to ask for help outside of their own community. This results in a lack of awareness of services available and can add to feelings of isolation.
Carers who are from the GRT community have told us these would be the most important things to them:
- Having someone to talk to
- Help accessing other services
- Getting their voice heard
We are here to help you with exactly these things, to support you in your caring role, whether that be offering an understanding ear for you to talk to, or putting you in contact with other services that can offer help and support.
After consultation with local Gypsies and Travellers experiencing difficulties accessing GP Surgeries, Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT) produced a ‘Health Help Card’, The card can be downloaded and used to explain to others what help, if any, may be needed to either book and/or attend an appointments in an NHS setting.
Making Carers Count
Developing support for Ethnic Minority Carer Communities across Sussex