I wish to let you know about an important change to our carer support service and the reasons for the change and would be grateful if you would make this information available to your colleagues and others in your network.

South and Vale Carers Centre has been working in partnership with Guideposts Trust for the past 2 years. Over recent months we have been working with Guideposts Trust to develop a plan for our future work which will be financially sustainable. The result of this is that we will need to make major changes to how we work.

Our Adult Carers Service

After 21 years successfully supporting carers of all ages, improving the lives of so many carers and their families, it is with sadness that as from 31 May 2016 South and Vale Carers will be withdrawing its support for adult carers to concentrate on supporting young carers.

This means that from 31 May 2016 South and Vale Carers will no longer be offering adult carers home visits, advice, help with allowance and benefit form filling and support with tribunals and appeals.

The withdrawal of our adult service will also mean that regretfully we will no longer be arranging adult carer day trips.

This decision has been a difficult one to make, and we know that it will be disappointing for many carers. In the weeks leading up to 31 May we will ensure that our current work with adult carers is complete, however we will now not be taking on any new adult client work.

Why we are changing

The Care Act 2014 has placed increased responsibilities on local authorities to provide carers with information, advice and guidance and undertake carers’ assessments. Much of South and Vale’s work supporting adult carers therefore duplicates what should be statutorily provided by Oxfordshire County Council and many of our funders understandably do not fund services that

duplicate statutory provision. This situation has increasingly impacted on our ability, as an independent charity, to secure sufficient funding to provide the quality support and expertise our clients have come to expect from South and Vale Carers.

The current climate of cuts to local authority funding has increased competition for resources between charitable organisations, as a result it has become increasingly difficult to obtain the funding we need to continue supporting adult carers.

In contrast we have been successful in actively fundraising for our ongoing work with young carers, and we feel that we are in a good position to grow and develop this service.

Where to go for help in the future

Over the next 3 months we are aiming to complete as much of the current work as possible for existing clients, but we will not be registering new clients or taking on new work with existing clients. We will be signposting to Carers Oxfordshire and other specialist services where possible and have circulated details of other service providers to our clients.

From now …

We have informed our clients of the change; there will be publicity today and over the coming days around the change to our service.

It is with great sadness that we have found it necessary to withdraw our Adult Carers service. It has been incredibly rewarding to support and make a difference to the lives of so many adult carers over the years.

Our work with young carers continues.

Regards John Tabor, Manager, South and Vale Carers Centre, 01235 838 554/ 07747 602 918