The project was formally opened by the Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Sue Blatchford, on Tuesday 23 September at Meon House, at the rear of 189 Portswood Road.
Carers in Southampton aims to empower the ‘Silent Army’ of carers by providing a central point where they can get information, guidance, support and training, so they can experience a much better quality of life while continuing in their caring role. Carers can choose to visit the relaxed resource centre at Meon House in Portswood, use the dedicated hotline: 02380 582 387, or check out the interactive website and social media resources (currently in development).
Brian Strevens, Executive Chair of Carers in Southampton, said: “For many years I have been associated with the development of services to carers in the City and know the importance of maximising their support and how we must identify this “Silent Army” of people who carry out this vital work. So I was very pleased when Southampton City Council and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group had the vision to anticipate this need and fund this service.”
Councillor Dave Shields, Southampton City Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “I whole-heartedly welcome this project. Anything we can do to provide assistance and support to the ‘Silent Army’ of carers in the city is a positive step. This will help empower carers and provide them with a collective voice and it’s important that we as politicians listen to their views. I strongly support this partnership particularly as we look to redesign an integrated care service to meet the needs of our city in the future.”
Stephanie Ramsey, Director of Quality and Integration at NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group and Southampton City Council, said: “This is a fantastic new development for all carers in Southampton. Caring is often not a choice and problems can go unrecognised with the majority of carers struggling silently and not knowing about the help available to them. Carers in Southampton will be a vital support service for local carers to gain more choice and independence by developing a network of existing services and agencies to bring the City together for central, strong support.”
The new service is jointly commissioned by Southampton City Council and NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group and run by Southampton Mencap. It will run initially for three years.