About carer involvement
Carer involvement at Carers Trust means working with people from the many diverse communities who make up the millions of unpaid carers across the UK.
We have committed to involving unpaid carers in every aspect of our work and at every level. Whether we’re thinking about starting a project, to assessing whether we are doing a good job, we plan to invite unpaid carers to be part of the process. We will do this by having Lived Experience Advisors in many different roles.
What is a Lived Experience Advisor?
A Lived Experience Advisor at Carers Trust is someone who has experience of being an unpaid carer and who wants to bring that experience to what we do and how we do it.
A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Anyone could be a carer – a 15-year-old girl looking after a parent with an alcohol problem, a 40-year-old man caring for his partner who has terminal cancer, or an 80-year-old woman looking after her husband who has Alzheimer's disease.
When we invite you to be a Lived Experience Advisor and participate in our work, we promise that:
- We will find a variety of roles and activities to enable as many unpaid carers as possible to get involved in our work, to fit around caring roles and other things you have going on in your life.
- We will work with and through our network of local carer services across the UK to find ways for you to get involved close to where you live.
- We will work with you equally and respect your opinions and views, and the time and experience you bring to the work.
- We will be inclusive and support you to take part in a way that is right for you.
- We will actively reach out to carers and communities who are marginalised and seldom heard.
- We will provide you with the information, training and support that you need to make the most of participating in the work.
- We will be honest about what is possible and if there are any parts of the work that cannot be done or changed.
- We will do what we say we will do and will be honest and accountable for any delays or changes.
- We will keep your data safe and confidential.
- We will support you with any expenses or additional costs you might have to enable you to take part, or because you have taken part, for example, if you have to pay for a bus ticket to get to a meeting, or replacement care so that you can be free to take part.
We believe that incorporating lived experience into our work has played an integral role in shaping our advocacy, service provision and organisational strategy. Keeping that in mind, we have begun a project to fairly reward carers for their time and expertise. A key priority for the current year is working towards a payment policy for the participation and involvement of carers. We will report back on this by the Autumn of 2023.