Organisation: Carers Victoria

Contact Person: Annie Hayward

Contact Email Address: annie.hayward@carersvictoria.org.au  

Abstract

Carers Victoria has identified that for carers, services and supports in regional and rural areas are difficult to access. Carers experience frustration in navigating the system and are more likely to reach crisis point earlier when they are not receiving adequate information or support. In partnership with Bendigo Health and Heathcote Health, this proposal seeks to pilot a ‘Carers Watch’ program – a geographically, place-based approach to support carers, similar to the Neighbourhood Watch program auspiced by Victoria Police. It would assist in the early identification of carers, and improve their awareness of, and access to, supports. It would create local community based systems for peer support and opportunities for learning, whilst unlocking additional volunteer supports in local neighbourhoods. The pilot will articulate with the Carers Victoria Local Community Pages pilot, an online space for information, events, support groups and services. It will also develop a DIY toolkit such that the Carers Watch model could be rolled out in other urban, regional, rural and remote communities across Australia. It is anticipated that carers will greatly benefit from the provision of a structured neighbourhood support system linked to local volunteers and service providers.