Empowering adults and young people in the county who care for their loved ones is at the heart of two new contracts.

Working with employers to help them support their staff who also care at home and increasing support for carers when their loved one is in hospital are just two of the ways new provider, PeoplePlus, will help adult carers in Gloucestershire.

PeoplePlus, a new provider to the county, will also offer information, advice and guidance, facilitate peer support groups for carers and run a volunteer befriending and mentoring scheme to make sure carers have someone to turn to.

They will also develop the county’s existing training programme for carers and offer a range of emotional support including: helping carers to access professional counselling, as well as provide a wide range of carers breaks and a carers emergency scheme.

Gloucestershire Young Carers has worked in the county for many years and will continue to provide support to young carers for life of the five-year contract. They will be responsible for protecting young carers from excessive or inappropriate caring and supporting them to thrive as children, young people and adults.

They will continue to reach young carers and young adult carers as early as possible so they can have the same education, health and wellbeing and life chances as others.

Both providers will work closely with Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to raise the profile of carers across Gloucestershire and improve the support available to them. They will also help the council to carry out statutory duties to carers, including promoting their own wellbeing, building and maintaining resilience and avoiding crisis.

The new contracts were awarded to PeoplePlus and Gloucestershire Young Carers using a transparent tender process following extensive engagement with carers across the county.  The combined contracts will provide over £10 million in help for carers over a five year period.

Cllr Roger Wilson, cabinet member for adult social care commissioning, said: “Carers work so hard to support their loved ones, it’s only right that they get the support they want and need. We want to be innovative in the way we help carers, and continually improve the service we give them. PeoplePlus and Gloucestershire Young Carers are the right organisations for that vital job and I really look forward to working with them to support Gloucestershire’s carers in years to come.

Mary Hutton, ICS Lead and Accountable Officer for the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “As an Integrated Care System we are already working closely with carers to ensure their voices are heard and that they are empowered and supported in their caring roles, whilst also having a life outside of caring. I have personally pledged to make carers a high priority for Gloucestershire and to help establish a new Carers Partnership Board.  I look forward to working directly with carers, partners and providers to help move this work forwards”.

Sally Bond, Director for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at PeoplePlus said: The challenges facing those who provide unpaid care for a disabled, ill or older family member or friend often go unseen. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners to assist carers across the county through the delivery of these important and highly valued support services.”

Ele Semadeni, Operations Manager at Gloucestershire Young Carers: “The support that young carers and young adult carers provide for family members often goes unrecognised and can lead to widespread inequality in terms of their education, mental and physical health, employment and social life. Gloucestershire Young Carers is proud to continue to work in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and agencies across the county to support these amazing young people.”

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