Bridgend Carers Centre become first organisation in region to achieve Carer Friendly Advanced accreditation

Bridgend Carers Centre’s mission is ‘to make a positive difference to carers’ lives in Bridgend County Borough by providing information and support and to reduce isolation’.

The Centre provides a diverse programme of activities to enable carers to maintain their caring role, including trips, holistic therapies, social events, training, information events and opportunities. In addition the Centre also provides specialist welfare benefits advice, legal advice and person centred counselling for carers.

Carer Friendly, designed by Carers Trust South East Wales in collaboration with carers, ‘aims to improve, share and recognise support for carers across a wide range of services.’

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

Anyone could be a carer – a 15-year-old girl looking after a parent with an alcohol problem, a 40-year-old man caring for his partner who has terminal cancer, or an 80-year-old woman looking after her husband who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Criteria for the accreditation were devised by carers and the process involves organisations completing a self-assessment tool in addition to providing a portfolio of evidence. The portfolio is put forward to a Carers Review Panel who either approve the accreditation or provide constructive feedback on areas for improvement.

Helen Pitt, Centre Manager, said the process demonstrated that carers are deeply rooted into their foundations. She went on to say:

“Bridgend Carers Centre are delighted to be the first organisation in Bridgend County Borough to achieve the Carer Friendly Advanced Accreditation. As an organisation whose sole purpose is to support unpaid carers and families we were pleased to be given the public recognition of the excellent service that Bridgend Carers Centre delivers to carers of all ages.

“It is important now, more than ever, that we live in a society that works to become ‘carer friendly’ and to give carers the recognition they deserve. Carers look after family and friends through illness and disability, their role can be a very stressful and demanding often juggling work and education with caring for a loved one. It is therefore important that all organisations understand the impact of a caring role whether that’s as an employer, a college, a school, a hospital or GP surgery and offer support or signposting to them.

“That’s why Bridgend Carers Centre has staff working in colleges, schools, hospitals and surgeries across the Borough to raise awareness and give timely support to carers and families to avoid carer strain. One person in four will become a carer at some time – carers are everyone’s business.”

Dr Peter Evans is a Senior Partner at Porthcawl Group Practice. He works closely with the team: “In Porthcawl we have a good working relationship with the team and have regular interaction. We direct patients to the team, and have displays and information available throughout the building. Bridgend Carers Centre is represented at appropriate primary care team meetings so that patient and carer needs can be discussed and the group provides an invaluable resource for carers. Their role is widely appreciated.

As more people are becoming isolated due to the pandemic, the need for support for carers is heightened, as many people feel that they have nowhere else to turn to. We all need to appreciate and value the support which this great group provides.”

For further details on Bridgend Carers Centre and how to contact them, visit www.bridgendcarers.co.uk

 
  • Third Sector Support Wales
  • PQASSO Quality Mark
  • Welsh Government
  • Investing in Volunteers
  • Lottery Community Fund
  • Disability Confident
  • Bridgend County Borough Council