Who Cares?

Guildford and Southwark work together to support Carers in Surrey

On Tuesday 19th February some 90 parish representatives, health and social care professionals, and representatives of voluntary organisations came together for a Carers resourcing and networking day conference’ in Redhill. The conference was organised by the Reigate Archdeaconry, working with the Revd Clive Richardson and Nicola Bassani from Guildford Diocese Community Engagement Team.


The two Dioceses cover the greater part of Surrey, and the conference was an opportunity for both to work together to achieve better support and help for Carers from the Church across the county. It also provided a forum where many engaged in pastoral work could network with service providers to get an up to date picture of the kind of help and support available to carers locally.


Ven Moira and Bishop Jonathan opened the day + Jonathan  said, ‘I welcome the opportunity to enrich the pastoral ministry of our churches in this way. The many carers in our churches and communities need to know we value them, and are willing to support them in their caring role.’


Helen Walker, CEO of Carers UK, the Keynote speaker said, “I was delighted to be invited to speak and share the work that Carers UK is doing to improve the lives of carers across the country. What struck me was the level of local support that can be accessed and the importance of helping carers to reach out to them – key to that, however, is for people to identify as a carer first in order to access that support and the more that we can do to help achieve this the better.”


There was a real buzz in the room and a lot of energy in the discussions leading to a number of positive and constructive ideas about next steps. Chris Elliott, Lay Chair Reigate observed that it was great to work across our Archdeaconry and to draw on the knowledge and experience of our neighbouring Diocese of Guildford. It was wonderful to see church people, clergy and lay, interacting with those from the secular world seeking to achieve a better world for our carers.