“A carer spends a significant proportion of their life providing unpaid support to family or friends. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems”
Carers’ Voice Somerset Partnership Board is a strategic group, and an influencing body and voice for unpaid carers in Somerset. We are concerned with improving the lives of unpaid carers in Somerset, and advise and make recommendations on the joint development of health, social care and related services.
The Board was set up in response to national strategies to make sure that carers can access the appropriate support and services they need. This helps them to maintain a good level of health and wellbeing and remain in their caring role for as long as they wish.
This is an inclusive, membership organisation. We include carers and former carers of people representing a wide range of caring needs, and are open to all those interested in improving the lives of unpaid carers in Somerset.
Members must be at least 16 years old and the membership must be made up of at least 80 per cent current carers.
The Chair and Vice Chair are always carers or former carers.
Key members of Carers’ Voice Somerset are:
- Carers and former carers
- Carers’ Voice Somerset – Local Link Leaders
- Somerset Young Carers Service
- Somerset County Council Adults and Health Commissioning
- Somerset County Council Young Carers Service (non-voting)
- Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group
- Somerset’s Support Service for Carers
- Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – Carers Service
- A wide range of organisations who have endorsed Somerset’s Commitment to Carers
What we do
We respond to the local and national policies for carers by
- making sure that carers are listened to and that their views and suggestions are shared across the whole of the health and social care sector in Somerset
- working together with partners to make sure that the needs of carers are considered when planning or developing services
- monitoring the progress of Somerset’s Commitment to Carers across all types of carer support services in Somerset and making sure that it remains up to date and relevant
- actively contributing to carer service design, redesign, monitoring and development
Meetings are attended by carers, former carers and representatives of organisations and agencies which have a stake in supporting carers in the county. This includes local service providers, Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and Somerset County Council commissioners.
At these meetings the Board discusses the concerns of carers in Somerset, focuses on the specific problems that carers are facing in the county, shares local, regional and national information and updates and best practice. The outcomes of these meetings are shared across the whole of the health and social care sector in Somerset.
Please note: Carers’ Voice Somerset Partnership Board is a strategic group and as such does not have the jurisdiction to campaign on issues solely relating to individual carers. Our meetings are an open, public meetings and issues affecting only one individual carer cannot be raised at the meeting.
Meetings are divided into three parts.
Carers are invited to attend all or part of the meeting.
- 10am to 11am – Carers’ only meeting – meet and discuss what is working well for carers in their areas, what still needs to be improved and to share ideas
- 11.15am to 1pm – Main meeting – all members – this is a formally structured meeting
Meetings are held every three months at various venues across Somerset.
If you are interested in our work and would like to get involved
- Would you like to help us make a difference to the lives of unpaid carers in Somerset?
- Are you able to attend a minimum of two meetings per year?
- Are you a carer, former carer or have specific skills or experience that may be useful to us?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of the above we would really like to hear from you.
For an informal chat and to find out more please contact Debbie Penny – Carers’ Voice Somerset Development and Engagement Officer
Phone 07866 785438