Carers UK ‘Community Connectors’ are volunteers who represent and champion Carers rights. They do this on behalf of Carers UK and Carers themselves. We are supporting the current Carers UK Community Connector in Somerset to find her replacement.
Carers UK is a campaigning organisation. It provides some support for carers, mainly by phone, email and online.
Could you be that strong ‘critical friend’ and have influence on policies in Somerset that would make Carers lives better?
Caroline Toll has been the Somerset representative for Carers UK for many years, and her wisdom, knowledge and courage to speak with policy decision makers and influence the shape of how Carers are recognised in Somerset has been legendary. She is hugely respected and held in high esteem with all who work with or come across her in their working life; from senior members of Somerset NHS services, Somerset County Council and Public Health, and all of us working in the third sector supporting Carers. She will be greatly missed.
“Caroline’s enthusiasm to drive forward continuous improvement for support for Carers is infectious and her commitment to work with the Local Authority and it’s partners to ensure that we are meeting the needs of Carers is very respected by all. Caroline has made a significant contribution towards the development of Somerset’s Commitment to Carers as well as supported with commissioning activity, her experience and knowledge of being a carer has been invaluable.”
– Vicky Chipchase, Service Manager, Adults Services Commissioning
Now in her nineties, Caroline feels it’s time to retire, and wants to find more people to take on her legacy. She is willing to train and work with them to help them get established in the role. Watch the below short message from Caroline. Below the video is a description of what is needed for this important voluntary role.
“I have developed the campaigning aspect of my role over years and am very keen to find someone, or people. to gradually take over all or some of these tasks. I would be very willing to introduce anyone interested to people with whom I already have a good working relationship and to do some of the tasks together to begin with.”
“It would perhaps suit someone who is no longer a Carer, who would therefore have some spare time and energy, and who would realise that their extremely valuable experience could help others.”
Carers UK Community Connector – a Carers rights campaigner
What is needed
– Direct experience of being a carer
– Membership of Carers UK or a willingness to join (free) and be aware of all they offer to carers
– Be able to attend local meetings on line and in person
– An understanding of the many different kinds of caring experiences
– Knowledge of, or willingness to learn, how health and social services work
– Any other relevant experience
The person should care about:
– How carers are treated by professionals
– How to improve care for carers
Take an interest in:
– Wider issues that affect carers
– National and local initiatives to support carers
Be willing to:
– Attend relevant meetings in Somerset
– Attend relevant national groups online
Be able to:
– Speak to people in power constructively and sensitively
– Develop cooperative relationships with relevant people and be seen as a “critical friend”
– Ability to use being an “expert by experience” to good use
– Feeling of being able to influence, even in small ways, care for carers
– Keeping in touch with the real world
– Keeping in touch with all age groups
– Meeting some lovely people