22nd February 2019Category: Working Carers
Carers Champions are a group of people bringing awareness of unpaid carers in their workplace and who can signpost people to us ensuring they get the right support and information for their current situation.
You may not have heard of Carers Champions before but they are in several workplaces across West Cumbria. You may even have had a chat with one without realising.
A Workplace Carers Champion is someone who, through training, is aware of the stresses and strains a working carer may be facing and also has an understanding of our services and how we may be able to support a carer. It is possible that a carer may not actually identify as such in the workplace but through chatting with a Carers Champion feels comfortable enough to talk about their caring responsibilities with them.
Through the Carers Champion training, the potential champions learn about our organisation, what services are available and how to signpost and refer carers to us.
Government statistics indicate that 1 in 9 people who work will be caring for someone and that 1 in 5 of these will give up their career to care full time.
Having identifiable Carers’ Champions in the workplace could lead to a culture in which employees talk openly about their caring role, responsibilities and any struggles relating to it.
Carers will know that their employer recognises and, very importantly, cares about the issues they may be facing.
We all live very busy lives, especially working carers and this can often mean that we are going from here to there in a hurry and miss out on the information and support that is available. Carers Champions help to raise awareness of West Cumbria Carers to those that may need it in the workplace and may even be involved in support groups for carers within their working environment. They can also encourage people to attend or accompany them to these kind of groups and activities.
Anyone who has an interest in the issues affecting carers would make an ideal Carers Champion. They would need to be a good communicator, have an understanding of boundaries, be able to listen and willing to undertake a 2 hour training event.
For more information about volunteering with West Cumbria Carers please click here.
West Cumbria Carers currently have Workplace Carers Champions across several local employers including the Sellafield Site, Iggesund, PPM, Kaefer, Morgan Sindall, Franks Portlock, Hertel, LLWR, Inspira , Adult Social Care and the NHS.
All our Workplace Carers Champions have been issued with a certificate and a Carers Champion badge.
We currently have a range of Carers Champion/Carer Awareness training packages available for any employer. This is a chargeable service which will help create a potential income stream to support us with the continued running of our volunteer project services.
If you are interested in becoming a Workplace Carers Champion or would like to have a better understanding of the issues affecting working carers, please speak to your Line Manager in the first instance who can call our office on 01900 821976 to speak to the Working and Caring Project Worker to discuss all the available options.