Our EfC Members Networking Event on 20th June, hosted by Barclays in Canary Wharf, focussed on ‘Getting Carers Connected’, the theme of Carers Week 2019. This well attended event celebrated our busiest Carers Week yet with over 1,000 events in total including many workplace sessions hosted by EfC members.
The event was opened by Siobhán Healey, Content Manager, Global Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays. Siobhán spoke passionately about their successful Carers Week and how members candidly shared their personal stories and the importance of ‘having information at the right time to make a difference for carers. There has been a great response so far from EfC members at Barclays.
Ian Peters, Chair of EfC, welcomed our recent joiners. Since the beginning of the year we have seen a ‘sheer diversity’ of different organisations such as Asda, DLA Piper, HSBC and Mercedes-Benz and a range of public sector bodies. EfC now has over 130 members including 37 umbrella members which encompass hundreds of SMEs. Ian also congratulated the first five EfC member organisations to have become Carer Confident following the launch of our employer benchmarking scheme in January, i.e. Centrica, Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, Ministry of Justice and Public Health England.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, shared the highlights of Carers Week with more pledges than ever before and over 100 MPs attending the Carers Week event in Westminster. Helen also showed a gripping and thought provoking clip of Centrica’s ‘It’s time to talk about caring’ film which was launched during Carers Week highlighting the isolation and loneliness that carers often encounter. You can watch the film here.
Three member organisations spoke about their good practice initiatives to support carers in their workplace and their experiences during Carers Week. The first was Timothy Williams, Architect & Vice-Chair of the Carers Staff Network Group at Transport for London. Timothy outlined that 1 in 5 has caring responsibilities at TFL and also highlighted the organisation’s perspective on caring, supporting BAME carers and that he is striving for TFL to become an industry leader on this issue.
Alia Cooper, Head of Strategy Engagement Governance at HSBC, gave an engaging overview of her personal experience of championing support for carers, including EfC membership, as a non-carer. She powerfully expressed it as ‘’you do not have to be a carer to care for carers’’. HSBC has successfully set up an internal informal mentoring programme for carers which has proven to be hugely valuable for people going through a similar experience. She highlighted the success of their panel event for Autism Awareness Day and what it is like to be a carer. Alia ended by saying that this was an exciting moment to launch this relationship with EfC and Carers UK.
Jacqui Falconer-Blake and Nicola Best, Supporting Working carers Coordinators at Northamptonshire Carers, who lead the work for the umbrella membership with Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, informed us about their work with EfC member Nationwide, their good practice initiatives and the value of setting up a carers support group and sharing information. They have now provided 30 carers assessments in the workplace for Nationwide employees locally which means ‘less stress for the carers’.
The Q&A session followed with members discussing the power of linking networks, flexible working and recent initiatives.
Dr Norah Keating, Professor and Co-Director, Research on Aging, Policies and Practice, University of Alberta, Canada joined us alongside Camille Allard, PhD Researcher from University of Sheffield to update about the Sustainable Care research programme and opportunities for EfC members to engage. Please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in hearing more or would like to take part in the research.
Our next members networking event will be in autumn 2019. If you would like to present at the next event and share your organisation’s progress, experiences or policies please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org