A community where unpaid carers of today and tomorrow are fully recognised, valued, supported and have what they need to keep well, stay in control and feel connected.
To provide trusted information, advice and support to unpaid carers of all ages enabling them to maintain or improve their health and wellbeing, as well as take control of their caring role and stay connected with others. In addition, we work with our wider community to improve recognition and support for unpaid carers.
Our strategic aims 2018-2024
Unpaid carers have improved physical health and emotional wellbeing
Keeping carers well
Unpaid carers are better able to manage the impact of caring
Keeping carers feeling in control
Unpaid carers are better able to have a life alongside of caring
Keeping carers connected
People living in Bath and North East Somerset understand the needs of local unpaid carers
Creating a carer-friendly community
We are a sustainable organisation in charge of our own funding
Being here for carers
For the purposes of this operational plan our planned activity is categorised into five domains.
Activity to identify and connect with unpaid carers through public communications and improved referral pathways with community partners.
Activity which values unpaid carers, their wellbeing, connection with others and their collective voice.
Activity which support unpaid carers’ individual journeys and provides access to trusted information, advice and a smooth pathway into adult social care and children’s services.
Activity to sustain and grow our Charity.
Activity to transform how the Charity uses insights and data to inform carer-centred digital solutions which empower our community to better recognise and support unpaid carers.
Insights from 2020 and considerations for the year ahead
Articulating our priorities early and clearly provided our current and new funders with confidence in our ability to adapt and continue meeting the needs of unpaid carers.
To maintain our attractiveness to funders we will emphasise our Covid-19 recovery plan and our ideas for developing future-proof blended online and in-person services.
We were reminded of the value of simply picking up the phone and connecting with unpaid carers.
We will continue to make Wellbeing Calls to unpaid carers and aim to secure longer-term funding to develop this into a sustainable volunteer-delivered service.
We discovered that online groups open up opportunities for those unpaid carers who were never able attend in person.
Our challenge for the year ahead is to fund, pilot and deliver innovative online and in-person activities simultaneously to satisfy carers who attend in-person and online.
A puzzle book or craft set, sent through the post can act as a strong incentive for unpaid carers to take time for themselves.
We will continue to offer ‘postal activities’ and explore ways to link these to Wellbeing Calls and the content of our wider wellbeing programme to help those unpaid carers feel connected to something bigger.
With the right approach it is possible to meet as a group of unpaid carers using the telephone.
We will continue to offer this option and explore ways to develop telephone peer support groups.
The unpaid carer’s journey from expressing an interest in an activity through to attending and providing feedback is important.
We will continue to invest time and energy in pre and post activity contact with unpaid carers to encourage their participation and experience.
We have heard from unpaid carers that they continue to feel unseen, unheard and not properly understood by their community.
We will continue work to address this through our recognition and value activities and the Digital Transformation Project.
We have seen that using tools and techniques which enable us to be more carer-centred enable us to develop services which are both more popular and more effective.
We will engage all staff and continue to embed a carer-centered and data informed approach to continuous service development.
Our use of Microsoft Teams and other cloud based tools enabled us to adapt easily to remote-working and virtual collaboration.
We will provide staff with blended working options (home, office, hubs) to help them best manage their wellbeing as we emerge from restrictions.
Our reliance on identifying unpaid carers at the Royal United Hospital (acute health care) to achieve our carer identification target for Virgin Care left us exposed when this activity was restricted due to Covid-19.
We will resource additional activity to develop stronger referral pathways with Link Workers (social prescribers) in primary care and with mental health services. We will resource additional communications activity to reach unpaid carers directly.
We had insufficient resource to adequately support volunteering.
We will resource volunteer recruitment, retention and supervision and develop new online volunteering opportunities.
We have recognised the limitations of our current website in enabling us to deliver quality information and advice to unpaid carers.
We will replace our website with a platform which is flexible and future-proofed so we can meet unpaid carers’ online needs.
In December 2020, the staff team were surveyed and asked to reflect on the experience of 2020 and to think about what we should do more of or start doing in 2021/22. You can see a summary of the results in Appendix A.
Parallel to day-to-day activity, the Digital Transformation Project has significantly influenced how we have approached testing our assumptions, gathering insights from carers and our community partners and use data to inform carer-centred change.