In fifteen years as a Carer I learned first hand the difficulties experienced by Carers needing to juggle full time employment with the caring role.
My professional experience includes working as a manager at Age Concern Warrington, working both with older people and their carers, to deliver advice and information, advocacy, counselling and healthy lifestyle training.
I am currently the Chair of FOCUS- North West (Forum of Carers and Users of Services), an organisation which identifies, supports and trains service users and carers who are involved in Social and Health Care education. As part of this role I joined SWEP Advisory Group and recently became their Treasurer, following our charitable status.
With Focus I was involved in a research project (Walk This Way) about service user and carer involvement in post qualifying education.
My experience as a practice educator with Chester University provides insight from the students’ aspects of service user and carer involvement. I am also involved in interviewing students and delivering training sessions.
I am also the Chair of the Princess Royal Trust Warrington Carers Centre and a director with the Warrington Volunteer Centre.
I would like to see even more service user and carer involvement in all aspects of social and health care education and to see more regard for valuable input that they provide.