How was the consortium created?
The Forward Carers Consortium is a partnership of more than 20 third sector providers in the West Midlands, which came together in April 2014 to provide support services for family carers.
What did it do?
The consortium was established to join up services for carers who were confused by a lack of coordination between providers. There were duplications in some services and gaps in others, and some disadvantaged communities in particular were not provided for.
The Forward Carers Consortium allows carers to access a wide range of services under one umbrella brand, Birmingham Carers Hub. A core development team comprising Midland Mencap, iSE - Institute for Social Enterprise, Health Exchange and Sutton Coldfield YMCA formulated a business plan and secured two contracts to deliver carer support on behalf of Birmingham City Council.
The consortium includes organisations that work in hard-to-reach communities and provide services to carers, giving Forward Carers access to disadvantaged groups and allowing partner organisations to diversify their offers.
What has it achieved?
In 2015, it registered and supported more than 14,000 carers, and more than 2,700 got support from its Carers Emergency Response Back-up Service. Eight hundred families got access to out-of-school activities for children with additional needs.
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