Working Life: Trisha Thompson of the Carers Trust supports carers and learns their slang

The head of grants and funding programmes at the charity enjoys the variety of her job

Trisha Thompson
Trisha Thompson

My day starts with a check of my emails over a bowl of cereal before leaving the house. I like to see what's ahead of me and what I need to prioritise. I'm proud to say that I'm one of those annoying people who can often be heard talking about how much I love my job. It's wonderful to focus on finding financial solutions and being able to give money that directly helps carers.

Caring for a family member or friend can be relentless, and I get to see that our funding really changes carers' lives by allowing them to buy essential equipment such as washing machines, enabling them to have respite care or helping young carers to build their self-esteem.

I head a team of 10 and we operate a "grants plus" approach - as well as funding, we also provide training and project management advice to organisations that are funded to support carers. I want us to be seen as a friendly but efficient funder, delivering projects that are effective and, where needed, can be sustained.

People often think grant-making is just looking at application forms and monitoring reports, but I also spend time working across the whole project-management process, from hearing the feedback of carers to sharing this with funders, so they know the impact their money has.

Carer involvement is an important part of my work and is clearly visible across all of our grants activities. We have young carer and young adult carer steering groups where the carers work with us to design large grant programmes and decide which projects receive funding. They will soon be accompanying us on monitoring visits. Working alongside the carers and seeing their dedication to helping other carers is motivating. It keeps me striving to fund the right projects and keeps me in touch with the latest music and slang. Being on the steering group is also empowering for the carers.

The variety of my job is the best challenge I could ask for, and I'm excited about what each day brings.

Trisha Thompson is head of grants and funding programmes at the Carers Trust, which works to improve support, services and recognition for unpaid carers in the UK

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