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Posted on behalf of Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent:

Following our Carers work programme project last year we are now launching our new digital Carers Forum, which is our latest initiative in our ongoing commitment to supporting the Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s All-Age Carers Strategy.

The digital Carers Forum offers an online space for carers to share their experiences and allows us to gather valuable information that can be fed back to service commissioners and providers. As with all our projects, by collecting this feedback we aim to celebrate what works well and to make recommendations about where improvements could be made.

Being a carer can be very demanding and with carers carrying out their caring responsibilities at all times of the day, it can be very challenging for them to attend in-person groups, which to be clear we are not being critical of in any way.

During our project last year, we visited many in-person groups to interview carers and promoted our surveys through our online platforms. We heard from 157 carers in Stoke-on-Trent, but we know that there are many more whose voices and valuable insights that may have been missed. The digital Carers Forum is our solution to fill the gap, ensuring that all carers have the chance to be heard.

To meet the needs and diverse schedules of carers, we have spread the project dates and times for our digital forum across various weekdays and at various times in the morning, afternoon, and evening so that there is a convenient time for everyone.

Can you please promote this through your own professional and community networks so that we might reach as many carers as possible.

We will be led by what the assembled carers wish to focus upon. If you are a commissioner, provider or in a position to make service decisions and would like to propose some topics or challenges or questions that would help the development of the all age carers strategy please let us know so that we can create a toolkit menu to help people consider topics when their might be a lull in points raised on the day. Likewise, I hope to see some of you at the sessions where you can be part of the conversation.

If you’re interested in attending any of the listed sessions, please register your interest by contacting us on 03303 130247 or emailing us at [email protected].

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