Inspiring Lives – Carers Hub

Nearly 7 years ago, I started working at a Carers’ Centre in Scotland. There was a guy there who was passionate, Carers Hub wheelemotional, impatient and committed. He was full of ideas and verve, and built real, lasting bonds with the families he supported. Yet, despite such brilliance he had the wonderful trait of being able to take the mick out of himself.

I did, and do, admire him greatly.

Then I went to work for The Princess Royal Trust for Carers nationally and after a couple of months of meeting support workers from other Carers’ Centres I realised something I couldn’t believe. There were other people just like him – just as brilliant as he was.

These other people were also sacrificing parts of their own lives to support carers and their families. They were also literally bursting with ideas and took no prisoners in their determination to get new services up and running. They were even taking the mickey out of themselves too.

Even if these people are often happy being in the background, what they do and how they do it should be known in every area in the land. Which is why The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care have created the Carers Hub.

This is a website that showcases successful projects from around the UK that help carers have a life of their own; not be financially disadvantaged; be respected as an equal partner in care; and enjoy healthy wellbeing.

Read about the service that has provided 900+ hours of counselling to carers in Leicester; or the project in Nottingham providing practical support for carers who are caring for somebody dying of cancer; or the young carers summer scheme in Newry and Mourne. Learn, copy, steal and make it a reality for carers in your area too.

The website also guides people to see what is available in their own area before thinking about what other services should be created. And carers are at the centre of all of this. We must listen to them to hear what they want, what they need and then work like mad to help them get it.

I came to realise that the person who inspired me, and all of the other people I subsequently met, were themselves inspired by other people who they saw as being equally passionate and committed. Carers.

Carers of all ages, from all communities, and living in all circumstances but bound by the commonality of selflessness and devotion. And sometimes even by a common brilliance of being able to laugh when others may cry.

Take inspiration from what others have done, and share the Carers Hub


PS: Diana Jones is Chief Exec of The Princess Royal Trust Lewisham Carers’ Centre and was awarded an MBE in the New Year. For 22 years she has been supporting carers in Lewisham. Like others, she inspires. And yet again, she is somebody else who can laugh at herself. Congratulations Diana.


January 18, 2011 - Posted by | Carers movement, Social Care | , ,


  1. .What a lovely piece on inspiration and so very true. Even I as a carer admire the strength and commitment by other carers. They have been my inspiration because at times when we feel low. It is other carers that can understand what kind of life we all have. Sharing our life’s ups and downs and realizing one is not alone. Often we all give each other the courage that is needed. Sadly although problems are recognised, recognition is not enough.It is time government did something positive and valued the people who care. It is no point just writing about it and telling us there will be change. It is time for change.

    Comment by simone | January 30, 2011 | Reply

  2. Hi,
    I care for my husband and have done for the last 22 years or more,(don’t like to count!!).
    My daughter has mental health issues and I try to be there for her , too.
    Until recently , I helped care for my Mother who , amongst a host of other medical problems, had Alzheimer’s. We lost her 18months ago.
    My reason for commenting on here is because one word stood out to me, on Gordon’s blog, which always is in my mind….CHOICE.
    Unfortuneately, that is the one thing I think , if , like me, carers find the most soul destroying, demoralising aspect of all.
    My “choices” , for anything personally, are gone.
    How would others like that thought?
    Many people in employment , look forward to 4/5 weeks holiday per year,it is a time for R&R,
    Why then, is it not ok for a carer to be able to look forward to the same?
    Even if I get a chance of a break, nine times out of ten it is with the cared for, or it has been squeezed out of the household budget until you end up feeling SO gulity for taking it, it’s just not worth it .
    Things need to change, radically, to bringCHOICE back to our lives, wouldnt you say, in all area’s of a carers life? !!!!

    Comment by Melanie Davies | January 30, 2011 | Reply

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