News & Events Stories and news AGM and Conference 2018 AGM and Conference 2018 Worcestershire Association of Carers’ AGM and Conference event was held on 17th October 2018 at Stanbrook Abbey Hotel in Worcester. The event was well attended by carers, professionals, volunteers, WAC staff, and local dignitaries. Highlights of the AGM included the presentation of the Howerd Brooksbank award for outstanding contribution to carers in Worcestershire to Nancy Croft, a founding member of WAC, with the award being collected on her behalf by her son Mark. Volunteers were also recognised, with eleven WAC volunteers each receiving a Barbara Moore award for five years of service to WAC and carers: Coral Handley Catharine Jones Helen Lubin Louise Loveridge Sylvia O Farrell Garry Phillp Catherine Concannon Olga Glaze Margaret Lavender Dawn Hadland Vivienne Breed The conference theme was based on “Caring Communities – Caring Worcestershire.” We heard from our keynote speaker, Jen Kenward, the NHS England Carer’s Lead, who spoke about the challenges faced by carers. She said that GPs were the key to identifying carers, and that they were working with the Care Quality Commission to develop standards for Carer Friendly GP Practices to help reduce carer breakdown and improve health related quality of life. We also heard from Sue Harris from Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, who talked about the importance of involving carers in planning changes in health and social care. She also spoke about work underway on the ‘Think Carer’ programme in Worcestershire which was based on feedback from carers on their experiences. Paul Raper from Simply Limitless spoke about his organisation’s commitment to supporting working carers. Helen Whatmore also told us about her caring journey, and the difference support from WAC has made to her. Finally, the new ‘Nancy Croft Caring Communities Award’ was presented to Helen Lubin for her outstanding commitment to and impact on carers in Worcestershire. After the conference, those in attendance had the chance to participate in activities focused around wellbeing including a tour of the abbey, a mindfulness session, or participate in crafts. A huge thanks to the Droitwich Lions and Sanctuary for sponsoring these sessions. Feedback from the event was extremely positive with 98% of attendees rating it 'very good' or 'amazing' and some of the comments from the day included: "Appreciation for the hard work and passion evident in everything WAC does. Thank you" "It is my first AGM. I would like to say thank you, I learned a great deal and I look forward to going to the courses" "Lovely venue, well balanced agenda, great to hear from a carer about her personal experience" "Very good conference, really helps gain more info and meeting other people in same position" We collected information from carers about their thoughts on what Worcestershire's priorities should be for carers and put together a feedback tree based on one thing that people would take away from the day (shown below) If you would like more information from the day or access to the presentations or feedback please get in touch.