Provision of a Carers forum for unpaid carers

Funding required£5,000
Delivery timeframe12 months

The Pitch

Problem statement

Carers don’t spend much time on themselves. During the pandemic, carers provided more care than before lockdown. The needs of the people that are looked after by carers also increased as their therapies and care could not be carried out which resulted in a general deterioration of their physical health. Carers report that their physical and mental health was and is negatively impacted by caring through the pandemic. Carers were seven times more likely to be lonely than the average person and the recent restrictions and shielding have stripped away the support networks carers had. Carers also report facing financial difficulties and feel exhausted to a level of burnout.


The goal of the Carers' Forum will be to give carers a platform to exchange information, make friends and have a break from the high responsibilities of caring. The Forum will be open to any carers from any of our three services, amounting to around 70 carers. The forum will take place monthly for 4 hours at a time with a minimum of 15 carers per session. The sessions will comprise of coffee mornings to socialise and get advice and signposting from our family support worker, outings, guest speakers, pampering sessions, twice yearly carers lunches and other activities. Salary costs £3000 Entrance and travel for 10 carers, 2 event/year £1000 2 carers lunches £600 2 guest speakers £400

Why are we best placed to deliver?

We have set up a Carers Forum in the past, offering these services for carers of all our three services, where carers of our clients could meet for a couple of hours every month, to relax, chat, socialise and get to know and support each other. We had a trial run and obtained feedback via a survey from our carers, which was in favour of the carers' forum. We have a good rapport with our carers, we have a building to cater for the forum safely and it will be overseen by qualified staff who has experience in hosting this event.

Focus Areas

Delivery plan

Budget breakdown

Family Support worker£3,000
Entry, Travel, Events£1,000
2 Carers' Lunches£600
2 Guest Speakers£400


70 people

Expected impact

By attending a support group, carers are giving themselves a well-deserved break from caring. A support group can reduce this sense of isolation by providing an opportunity to meet other carers who understand what it is like to be a carer and can offer support, reassurance and share information. Carer support groups can acknowledge the value of providing care. For carers, belonging to a support group can offer the opportunity to gain support through sharing experiences and feelings with others in a similar role, discover ways of alleviating stress and relaxing, learn about community services and how to use them and have social contact away from the continual demands of caring. This will also support our clients directly, as carers who are informed and supported will be able to take care of their own physical and mental health, social life, career and relationships and therefore be the carer they need to be for our clients.

Track record

We have run a carers' forum in the past with a Family Support Worker and it was mainly carers-led. We conducted a survey amongst our carers and the overall response was that a carers' forum is very much wanted and needed. Carers felt supported and understood. They also knew that the staff at all our centres will support them as well as their relatives as The Garwood Foundation has an holistic approach to delivering our services. We realise that supporting our clients also includes supporting the wider unit to make a maximum poisitive impact. Now, that we are gradually coming out of lockdown and shielding, carers are desperate for some kind of relief and being able to look after themselves, even if it is just for a short period.

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Published by

The Garwood Foundation

Registered charity