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Success leads to expansion for Wiltshire carers’ scheme

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Lizzie Rapley from Working for Carers and Susan Bell, support services team leader at CSWLizzie Rapley from Working for Carers and Susan Bell, support services team leader at CSWA Wiltshire scheme which encourages employers to support staff who are carers has been so successful it is expanding into the Midlands.

Working for Carers, a programme run by the charity Carer Support Wiltshire – which offers support and services to the county’s thousands of unpaid carers – is being rolled out in Birmingham and Worcestershire.

And to mark the programme’s expansion, Carer Support Wiltshire is hosting a networking lunch for the county’s employers, where they can find out more about Working for Carers and how it can help their staff and their organisations.

“Working for Carers was set up three years ago, to highlight the number of carers among the county’s workforce, and to encourage employers to help them juggle their caring and work commitments,” said Carer Support Wiltshire’s chief executive Catharine Hurford.

“It has proved a fantastic success, with employers signing up to the programme, as they give their commitment to support those among their team who are carers – which is nearly one in eight employees.

“We’re thrilled that the Working for Carers model is now going to be run in other parts of the country by carer support organisations similar to ours.”

The networking lunch will be held in Devizes Town Hall on June 15, during national Carers’ Week, and will be attended by Devizes MP Claire Perry, who is a patron of Carer Support Wiltshire and Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The focus will be on raising awareness of the challenges working carers face, trying to juggle both roles, and the lack of support available.

Among those employers which have signed up to Working for Carers is Wiltshire Council.

Joanne Pitt, the council’s director for HR and organisational development, said: “We are proud to be part of this scheme as we want our employees who have caring responsibilities outside of their job role to feel as supported as possible, which hopefully eases some of the pressure they may be under.

“We’re pleased to see the scheme continues to be successful and other areas are getting involved, as we really feel part of a positive network with lots of opportunities for shared learning.”

Catharine added: “Working for Carers not only benefits employees, but also benefits employers, as it can lead to higher staff retention, better morale and reduced absence, and it also enhances the organisation’s reputation.”

For more information about the networking lunch, visit https://workingforcarers.eventbrite.co.uk

To find out more about working for carers, visit https://workingforcarers.co.uk