Manchester Carers Network, a group of 21 voluntary organisations who provide information, advice and support to carers, is working with LGBT Foundation, who deliver support and information services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) communities, with an aim of understanding the views of LGBT carers and learning how they can help improve access to services, support and information that is relevant and beneficial to them as a carer.
A carer is anyone who cares, unwaged, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.
Together Manchester Carers Network and LGBT Foundation are looking for views from LGBT carers or services providing support across Manchester. They want you to tell them if you think anything extra is needed for LGBT Carers besides what is currently offered by existing health, social care and LGBT services.
At the time of the last census in 2011 and the LGBT ‘I exist’ survey from 2012, it was estimated that 1 in 10 who identified LGBT was also a carer for up to 19 hours per week.
This is on average to what national carers statistics say, however we estimate that this could be as much 1 in 4 people. So Manchester Carers Network and LGBT Foundation know that there are LGBT carers out there but they want to find out if you need them?
Sam Palmer, Head of Carers Services, Manchester Carers Network commented;
‘’This is an exciting partnership with the LGBT Foundation and Manchester Carers Network. We want to reach out to the Manchester LGBT Carers community to share their views as we know that this is an area of support that is currently not available. All participants will be listened to in confidence and offered support through our network. Alternatively, if you are working within someone who is an LGBT carer and you would like to share your opinions then please get in touch”
Andrew Gilliver, Pride in Practice/Community Involvement Coordinator, LGBT Foundation commented;
‘‘LGBT Foundation is delighted to be working with Manchester Carers Network to reach out to LGBT Carers. We know from many years of supporting our LGBT communities that sometimes existing services may not be accessible to LGBT people for a variety of reasons.
If you are caring for someone, often you can lose touch with friends and other important contacts and feel that there is no-one there to support you who understands what you are going through. It can also seem hard to find somewhere where you do not have to explain who you are as an LGBT person. We want to find out what we can do collectively to support members of our communities and to understand how we may be able to improve the support that we can offer.’’
Let your voice be heard!