The Consortium is a collaboration between local voluntary organisations that provide information, advice, support and services to unpaid Carers. It seeks to develop equity of service provision for carers throughout East Kent by allowing member organisations to bid for and deliver East Kent or Kent wide contracts and finance for services which may not be available to any individual member organisation alone.
A Carer is someone who, without payment provides help and support to a relative, friend or neighbour, who could not manage without their help due to physical or mental illness, addiction or disability.
In 2013, the consortium was awarded a three year contract with Kent County Council to provide Carer’s Assessment and Support to Carers across the whole of East Kent. Carers’ Support supporting Carers in Ashford, Shepway and Swale, and Carers’ Support – Canterbury, Dover & Thanet, are currently delivering that contract.
In December 2015 this contract was extended until April 2018.
Our aim is for carers themselves to be involved actively in service shaping and delivery, to provide high quality outcome focussed Carers' Services, with robust mechanisms in place to monitor quality and to ensure fairness and consistency in access, service delivery and quality across the relevant area.
The voluntary sector faced significant challenges when local and central Government and some other funding bodies moved away from making grants, to asking organisations to tender for funds, awarding contracts in place of grants. This change also focused providers to deliver outcomes, stimulating innovative ideas and strategies, bringing service providers together to best support and meet the needs of Carers in East Kent.
The two charities work collaboratively as a Consortium, whilst retaining their individual identities to enable services to Carers to have a local focus and the charities to respond to opportunities in their own areas. The Consortium currently has four associate members and welcome interest from complementary service providers.