The Carers Service aims to offer support to all carers within the Blackburn with Darwen area.
The Service began in 2004 and was founded by carers, for carers, and was under the management of the Council for Voluntary Service – At this time we had 3 staff and no volunteers .
The service became a company in 2006 and then gained independence in April 2007, becoming a registered charity in July 2007.
The service continues to be a network member of the Carers Trust formally known as The Princess Royal Trust for Carers. As a registered charity the service initially received funding from voluntary donations, Blackburn with Darwen Social Services, Blackburn with Darwen Primary Care Trust (PCT) and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (PRTC). At this time we had 9 staff and 5 volunteers.
In March 2011 we moved into our new premises at Kingsway (at the bottom of Montague Street in Blackburn). From here we work one to one with carers, provide quality activities and events, and oversee the many carers support groups that are held within the building.
During 2012 and up until March 2013 the service focused on working out in the community with an even more individual approach to our carers. By giving our carers one to one support, as well as providing opportunities to meet with other carers, our overarching aim is to support carers to enable them to continue in their invaluable role. At this time we had 14 staff and 10 volunteers.
2013 to present – Many changes have occurred between this period:We now have a new carers assessment which focuses on providing carers advisers with a full picture of how carers can be supported – not just papering over the cracks – open door policy
- We now have a new database that will really support the team and subsequently carers as this will provide us with excellent information for working with carers in real time and also will provide valuable information for reporting purposes and to identify areas for future development.
- This new website is now in place and will be regularly updated with all the information carers may need. We will always provide very clear and concise information about everything that the service offers to carers.
- We now have a volunteer coordinator in place, of which has resulted in many more volunteers volunteering to support the services we offer, especially our new befriending scheme, of which again, supports carers longer term.
- We now have an ‘in house’ benefits and employment adviser who is proving to be extremely successful in ensuring carers have the right benefits – In the first six months of this new post, the adviser has supported around 200 carers, resulting in over £400,00.00 of successful applications.
- New trustees have now taken positions on the board. They bring with them a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise.
- The service now has 22 staff and approximately 40 volunteers and still growing.