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Carers Staff Network

Information on how the University of Sunderland's Carers Staff Network has run between 2021-22.

What is the Carers Staff Network?

The Carers Staff Network is a new group, having previously been a part of the CAPS (Carers and Parents) Staff Network. It was set up as a way for community members and allies to be socially active.

As of June 2021:

  • 18 members attend the Carers Staff Network
  • 80% of members are carers of adults
  • 20% of members are carers of children
  • 100% believe that the networks support the delivery of the University Value of Inclusion
A younger person caring for an elderly person in a wheelchair

100% agree that they create connections, a safe space, shared purpose, interests and sense of belonging for members

An adult and a child reading a book

100% agree that they are able to share problems, knowledge, ideas, situations and lessons

Two people hugging

80% agreed that they solve problems, bringing resources, processes and other ways of change to the University

A child playing with a toy

89% agree that they are a powerful voice and source for positive change, embedded across the whole University.

Fiona Jackson

Chair of the Carers Network

Fiona Jackson

Student Casework Manager

A younger person looking after an older person

Our impact

The carers network has only been running for 9 months and along with providing the members with advice on how to navigate power of attorneys, they also celebrated Carers Week. Staff and students were invited to attend a “Caring with Resilience Awareness Workshop” which explored what resilience means including the importance of self-care, stress container, assertiveness and boundaries and some emotional intelligence throughout the session.

staff member playing with two children

Why do staff attend?

  • "I am a carer and the initial announcement sparked my interest"​
  • "For a long time, I had felt very isolated in my work/life situation. Since joining the network, I realise this is not the case. I attend because it offers moral support, guidance, insight as to my rights as a carer, an opportunity to support colleagues in return and work together to improve the workplace for carers"
  • Support and sharing of information​
  • Gaining knowledge and experience from other carers
  • An opportunity to meet with staff across the university in a similar situation​​​​
  • To see how other carers cope with their responsibility​
Patient, Carer and Public Involvement

Other areas

  • 33% feel the network would benefit from a more structured action plan
  • 56% feel the network would benefit from having assigned roles for individuals for example Chair, Events coordinator, note taker
  • 56% would like to see the networks recognised in appraisals

Staff testimonials:

We asked the members of the Carers Staff Network their opinions.

Exterior of Cityspace at night

"The Carers Network has become a lifeline for me. While all of our situations are slightly different there is a real shared understanding."

Stairs outside the Prospect building at Sir Tom Cowie campus

"At last recognition that the job we do here in the university is just one of the many we do at home - its ok to not be ok sometimes​."

City campus at dusk

"The training and advice sessions are helping me to adapt and build my resilience toolkit when times are tough."

Contact us

We welcome feedback on Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Responsibility.

Please contact our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, justine.gillespie@sunderland.ac.uk or,
the Student Union LGBTQ+ Officer at yoursu@sunderland.ac.uk