We are Sutton Carers Centre – a charity supporting unpaid Young and Adult Carers across the London Borough of Sutton.
Help us to ensure that Carers of all ages remain connected – ensuring that they have access to the advice, information and support they need to care safely, enabling them to look after their own wellbeing.
A Carer is someone, who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without this help. This could be due to a disability, physical or mental illness, or substance misuse issues. Carers can also be children or young people who help care for a parent or sibling. Carers often juggle work, school or other commitments alongside their caring roles.
Now, more than ever, Carers are feeling isolated and hidden, unable to access their usual services and support networks as a result of Covid-19.
We have rapidly transformed our services to respond to the changing needs of Carers. Having overcome initial barriers to operating remotely, the situation highlighted an opportunity to deliver services better, longer-term. We want to crowdfund to expand our services to reach more Carers than ever. The funds we raise will enable us to:
- Improve our digital communications and online presence
- Update IT equipment to enable staff and volunteers to be mobile & work effectively, remotely
- Increase our ability to reach into the community and identify 'hidden' Carers, particularly those from BAMER & LGBTQ+ communities.
- Make our services more inclusive/accessible to Carers in full-time work, education or training.
Keeping Carers Connected - The Plan...
Our project will ‘Keep Carers Connected’ – by developing our online, digital presence to better support isolated family Carers - children and adults - during COVID-19 and beyond.
We want Carers to remain connected, be able to cope with caring for family & friends who are ill or disabled, and to enhance or restore their capacity & resilience. Developing our online and digital presence will ensure that Carers have continued access to emotional and practical advice and support, via support groups, social media, webinars & blogs.
We need to improve our IT equipment, systems and knowledge, so that frontline staff can work remotely, making services more creative, accessible, safe and inclusive in the shorter and longer-term. Improving our ability to work remotely in the community will tackle inequalities so that harder-to-reach Carers can engage in services that often have excluded them.
This will help Carers stay knowledgeable, supported, and resilient - connected to our charity, each other and the wider community.
With your help we will…
Replace our IT equipment, including purchasing laptops with cameras to enable online and remote delivery of services. Carers themselves will also have access to the updated equipment, enabling them to complete forms, create CVs, apply for jobs etc.
Hire a digital consultant to update our website, create online platforms to deliver virtual services and deliver training to increase staff skills in relation to Social Media.
Upgrade our communications tools to create regular newsletters and mailings so that we can keep connected to our Carers.
Advice & Information
Karen and her team provide a range of information to unpaid Carers including advice on Carers Rights, employment and finances. They offer assistance to access benefits and complete application forms for individual grants. In 2019-20 they secured over £335,000 in additional benefits for unpaid Carers…. And that was from the office - imagine what they could do if they were out and about!
Shukri and the Support Team work to maintain the wellbeing and mental health of Carers, offering emotional support, wellbeing advice, counselling, peer support groups, training and access to Psychological Therapies. Last year alone we offered over 650 hours of Counselling to unpaid Carers, completely free of charge. The team also provides specialist support to Carers looking after someone with mental health issues. Working with Carers to build their capacity and resilience, the team want to expand our wellbeing support into the virtual world.
The aim of our specialist Young Carers Service is to reduce the impact of caring through building capacity and resilience, improving the wellbeing and educational outcomes of Young Carers and reduce inappropriate caring. Offering whole family, peer and 1-1 interventions, working alongside schools and other services, Mel and team help over 400 Young Carers every year. With improved online services we predict that the number of Young Carers we can reach could double.