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Guernsey carers to benefit from new charity

Photo: PA

Carers in Guernsey are set to benefit from a new charity, after a report raised concerns about gaps in the provision of support available.

The newly formed 'Carers Guernsey' will support islanders who provide informal care for family and friends.

The Guernsey Community Foundation will provide £80,000 to cover start-up costs.

The new charity is one of a number of recommendations made by the Carers Working Group, in a report looking into the provision for carers in Guernsey.

The working group – which is led by Peter Harwood, ex-Deputy and former Chair of the States Supported and Living Well Strategy – was set up by the Foundation.

The move came after the Guernsey Disability Alliance raised concerns about gaps in the provision of support available to carers.

The report concludes that although carers save the States approximately £29m a year by looking after friends and loved ones, they face a range of challenges including:

  • Insufficient respite care
  • Limited information on the support services available
  • A lack of a support network to give emotional support and advice
  • An absence of training
  • Limited community service provision
  • A lack of personal care budgets
  • Affordability of private care
  • Employer inflexibility
  • The lack of a single ‘voice’ or advocacy group representing their interests

Reverend Jan Le Billon of Carers Coming Together, a voluntary group which provides Away Days for carers, said:

Carers are the unsung heroes of the community. Caring for loved ones can be exhausting, and, if the person being cared for can’t be left on their own, being a carer can mean being housebound. It is vital that carers receive support and quality care themselves. They need to be able to get out to relax, or meet friends, or shop—things that the rest of us take for granted.

– Reverend Jan Le Billon of Carers Coming Together

Deputy Jane Stephens, member of the Policy and Resources Committee, welcomed the Carers Working Group’s report and the creation of Carers Guernsey.

Many people in Guernsey juggle caring responsibilities with both work and family commitments and this report highlights some of the challenges currently faced by carers in Guernsey. We look forward to hearing the views of other interested parties on the proposals and to working in partnership with the Guernsey Community Foundation and other community organisations as this work is taken forward.

– Deputy Jane Stephens
  • WATCH: Fran Le Noury reports on the outcomes the new charity will have for carers.