We are delighted that the Carers Centre has secured funding from Sheffield City Council for 3 years from January 2017 to provide a citywide service for adult carers.

In the summer the Council invited organisations to bid for a contract to provide a citywide carers information and advice service.  Any organisation could bid as part of a competitive tendering process which outlines the service the Council wants to be provided and the funding which is available.  We had to provide detailed information on how we would provide the service which the Council had specified, following consultation with carers.

It’s a very challenging and time-consuming process for a small organisation and we’re very grateful to the carers who helped us along the way – carers were involved at every stage of our bid, including the final presentation and interview stage; and they will be involved as we develop and deliver information and support services into the future.

The City Council involved carers in designing the new service and evaluating all the bids received.

Carers Centre Chair, Ann le Sage, commented:  ‘This is wonderful news after many months of uncertainty.  There ahs been a tremendous amount of hard work by the Carers Centre Chief Executive, the staff, volunteers and carers.  Without this contract  the Carers Centre faced a very uncertain future and we knew that we were in competition with organisations from outside Sheffield; so  we are delighted that the Carers Centre will be supporting carers for at least another 3 years. ‘

The way we deliver services from January 2017  will be different from our current service but changes and new services  will be introduced over time – for example we will take on responsibility for carrying out Carers Assessments later in 2017.  But we’ll also continue to provide many of those services we know carers value:  carers will still be able to contact us by ‘phone on our Carer Advice Line 0114 272 8362; we’ll continue to run our city centre Carers Café and our regular newsletter; we’ll  improve our website and online services but we won’t forget that some carers don’t use the internet or a computer, so we will still provide information in the best way for individual carers; we’ll be bringing our talks and information sessions to different parts of the city and we’ll continue to work with many organisations who support carers, including Sheffield Mencap & Gateway , Sheffield Mind and Sheffield Citizens Advice.  Our staff team will include some new (and not so new) faces in 2017 and we have plans to introduce many more roles for volunteers.

‘Carers have always been at the heart of everything we do’ commented Chief Executive, Celia Robinson, ‘and we were overwhelmed by their support during the tendering process.  We know we can count on carers to help us make sure we can reach more carers and offer information and support which is relevant, timely and appropriate’.

So look out for developments as they occur – we will be publicising services in more detail in early 2017.  There’s also information on upcoming events in this newsletter and on this website or call us on 0114 278 8942.