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Supporting our carers

A carer is someone who provides support to a family member or friend who could not manage without this help due to illness, frailty, disability, mental health or substance misuse problems.

There are over 25,000 carers in Solihull, around 12% of the population, of whom 2,300 are registered with the Carers Trust Solihull.

2017/18 priority: Developing the Carers Strategy and implementation plan

Over the past four years, Solihull Council, partners and carers themselves have worked together through the Carers Partnership Board to develop and deliver the Solihull Carers Strategy 2014-2018.

Through the strategy, we have aimed to help carers to continue to care and also to have a life of their own, in particular through:

  • Encouraging carers to undertake a carer’s assessment to identify their own needs and access appropriate support services
  • Funding a range of support for carers through the Carers Trust Solihull and SOLO (Solihull Life Opportunities)

In 2017/18 over 400 carers assessments were completed, and there were over 500 new registrations with the Carers Trust.

Other highlights during the year have included:

  • The launch of the new Carers Digital information and advice resource
  • Solihull Council became a Carer Friendly Employer. Chief Executive Nick Page signed the Carers Friendly Employer Pledge in June 2017
  • The Carers Trust piloted a new adult carers befriending service to help support carers to get more engaged in the community and with carers events.
  • We raised awareness of the issues facing carers at our ‘All about Carers’ event in March 2018. This was attended by 150 carers, professionals and other organisations.

For more information, please see:

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Supporting our carers - Caroline’s story

Caroline is a carer for two family members. Both have different needs. Caroline can never leave one member of her family on their own, and at times, she has been unable to leave either of them.

Caroline feels that she no longer has time for herself as her caring role takes over her life and is now starting to impact on her health.

Caroline contacted the Carers Trust and asked for a Carer’s assessment. She looked on line to see what sort of thing this was, but she still didn’t really know what to expect.

The person from the Carers Trust was very friendly. She explained what was going to happen and also explained about the financial assessment, so Caroline’s expectations were managed.

The assessment took about two hours and the assessor listened carefully to what Caroline was saying. She empathised with Caroline and made her feel that she was doing a very worthwhile job and that she wasn’t making a fuss. The assessment highlighted that Caroline was now struggling with her caring role and her own health was starting to be affected.

Caroline was told about the services offered by the Carers Trust, both in terms of support and also activities. She was told she could phone or drop in at any time, should she need to talk to someone. She was given some advice about re-training and also asked to think about how she could use the spare time that she did have, to do things that she enjoyed and give herself some quality time. The assessor stressed that, as a carer, Caroline was still a person who had every right to take time for herself and to look after herself. She also registered Caroline as a carer with her GP practice, as they were not aware of her role.

Once complete, the assessment was sent through to Caroline with a support plan. Caroline knew that the assessment would not solve all her problems as the assessor told her at the start, but it did make her feel that there was somewhere to go for support and made her feel worthwhile as a person. It made her feel that she could take time for herself without feeling guilty and how important it was to do something for herself. Caroline felt it was a positive experience.