Family Carers is now one stronger national voice

By Mary Dennehy

A NEW organisation set to benefit more than 200,000 family carers in Ireland was last Friday officially launched in the County Library, Tallaght.

The Carers Association and Caring for Carers have merged to create a new entity called Family Carers Ireland which, together employing 800 people, has pooled best practice, resources and experience from both organisations to create “one stronger, national voice” and increased supports and services for family carers. 

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New supports provided by Family Carers Ireland include 24 resource centres providing information and support, more than 150 training courses, including first aid and patient moving and handling, in-home respite services and a better geographic spread of personnel and services, particularly to family carers in rural areas.

The merge also signal an extension of the Freephone National Careline from five to seven days a week and networking with more than 150 family carers support groups across the country which provide peer support and practical workshops.

According to Rachel Rogers, family carer support officer: “Both the Carers Association and Caring for Carers voted by an overwhelming majority to merge and form one united organisation last February.

“Today [the launch] marks a very exciting milestone as we launch Family Carers Ireland and announce all the benefits our new organisation brings family carers.”

She added: “Family Carers Ireland is sustainable and in a better position to support, lobby for and advocate on behalf of Ireland’s family carers. We look forward to an improved network of support for family carers in Ireland and to gaining greater recognition for the voices of family carers.”

The official launch of Family Carers Ireland took place in the County Library, Tallaght, on Friday, February 19 and was attended by County Mayor Sarah Holland, members for both organisations, members of the public and elected representatives.

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