Our membership offer just got even better! If you're an unpaid carer, join the caring community and become a member with us. Our CEO has written the following message to all unpaid carers in Gateshead:

Hello,

I’m writing to you today as we relaunch our membership scheme. Many of you will not know that we are actually an ‘association’ because we dropped the word association from our working name in 2016. Legally we remain Gateshead Carers Association (GCA) yet you may only know us as Gateshead Carers.

Leading an association makes me incredibly proud because an association is run by and for its members. It makes us stand out from the vast majority of other voluntary sector organisations and charities. It gives people providing unpaid care not just somewhere to go to for information, advice, and guidance, it gives people providing unpaid care power, influence, and control, not only to shape what we do but also how we do it. It gives people providing unpaid care, like you, their very own organisation. By law, as an association, at least 50% of our trustees must have lived experience of providing unpaid care. Currently, over 80% can claim that experience. This is really important because it is the trustees who accept or reject recommendations I make about how we can make things better for all unpaid carers in Gateshead. It also sends a very strong message to statutory bodies making decisions about health and social care that unpaid carers are organised, have a collective voice, and are to be reckoned with.

We go much further than what is legally required of an association. All of our Leadership Group (including myself) has been or is currently an unpaid carer. Across the organisation 80% of all staff have been or currently are unpaid carers. I think that’s why people providing unpaid care come to us. People know us, feel confident coming to us and trust us. We know and understand the challenges providing unpaid care brings and people coming to us see that. That’s because we are an ‘association’.

Life is uncertain and it brings challenges but I know one thing for certain. We, as people providing unpaid care, are stronger together. By joining us as a member, you will be part of the incredible community of unpaid carers in Gateshead, helping to make things better for unpaid carers today and better for your family members and friends in the future.

With my very best wishes,

Steve Cowen

Chief Executive Officer

Gateshead Carers ASSOCIATION

We would like to thank you for taking the time to read this letter and would love for you to join us as a member!

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