Posted on: Friday 29 July 2022
Torfaen Council has become the first organisation in Wales to be granted Carer Friendly Employer Accreditation by the Care Collective.
The award recognises the work the authority has done to date and future plans to support staff who are unpaid carers.
This week, Lisa Yokwe, from the Care Collective, presented the award to Tracy Harris and Kate Dibble, from the council's Organisational Development team, and carer support worker Louise Hook.
Tracy Harris, who is also the council's Senior Carers Champion, said: "We are very pleased to receive this award which recognises and celebrates organisations who are making a real difference to carers in the workplace.
"We’ve achieved this award for the Carers Policy we have introduced ,which was designed by staff for staff, and also for our future plans to support staff who are unpaid carers.
"We hope it will encourage more colleagues who have caring responsibilities to speak with their managers to find out what help and support is available. We would also like other carers to consider coming to work for Torfaen Council."
Jenna Slade, who works for the Community Connectors team and cares for her mum, said: "When you're a carer you can't always do everything you need to do outside of the working day and sometimes my two roles overlap.
"The new policy has given me the flexibility I need to continue to work fulltime and care for my mum.
"A personal support plan meant that when I changed teams my new manager knew about my other responsibilities and it helped me to feel emotionally supported."
Lisa Yokwe, Carer Friendly Officer for Gwent, said: "The panel was really impressed with the way staff were included in the development of the staff policy from the beginning.
"It is no mean feat for an organisation of this size to create a policy to support staff and it's great to see it is already helping people."
It's estimated there are more than 6.5 million carers in the UK, with 1 in 7 of all employees in Wales juggling work and care for loved ones, equating to 223,000 workers.
The Care Collective is the largest charity supporting unpaid carers in Wales. It offers training and accreditation to organisations and teams across Wales to help support carers in the workplace.
The council introduced a Carers Policy in April to offer greater flexibility to staff with caring responsibilities thanks to a personal support plan and additional carers leave.
Staff and manager training has also been introduced and there are plans to develop a staff support network.
For information about how Torfaen Council supports all carers visit our website. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org or search for Torfaen Adult Carers or Torfaen Young Carers on Facebook.
(Pictured left to right: Louise Hook, Lisa Yowke, Tracy Harris, Jenna Slade, Kate Dibble)