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Carer Support Wiltshire were delighted to be shortlisted for the ‘Collaboration for Improvement’ category at the NHS Big Conversation for Improvement which took place on Wed 11 and Thu 12 May.

The charity’s Courage to Care service was shortlisted in a category that focused on how collaboration and valuing lived experience can be used successfully.

Courage to Care was established to support unpaid carers in serving armed forces families in Wiltshire. It aims to ensure that these families can access the same services as all other carers, building a link between armed forces welfare support and community-based support and services.

Carers in serving armed forces families often experience challenges and barriers that carers in the general population do not. For families moving regularly, navigating changes to health, social care and education support can be overwhelming. Families are often living away from their extended family and are less likely to have a stable support network.

It was established early in the creation of Courage to Care that relationships with armed forces personnel and key services was vital to the long-term success of the service.

Once off the ground, the service worked with army welfare services, unit welfare officers, medical centres and other existing support agencies to raise awareness of the impact of caring on a person’s wellbeing, and to establish referral pathways for carers identified by them.

Jacqui Radford, Operations Manager, Community Engagement Services who heads up Courage to Care said: “We were up against stiff competition and we’re delighted to have been shortlisted for this unique service supporting carers within military families.

“The Big Conversation for Improvement was all about sharing fresh insights and ideas in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic on how to promote the improvement of health and care for the benefit of everyone.

“It was inspiring to hear about the work of others and to celebrate the success of our Courage to Care service.”

Find out more about the NHS Big Conversation for Improvement.

Find out more about Courage to Care.