Word Worker press release:

A gala evening to celebrate the progress Wiltshire employers are making towards accommodating employees who are carers is being staged in January.

The event in Devizes is being hosted by the county-based Working for Carers programme and celebrates the commitment employers have made to those on their workforce who are carers. It is also a chance for employers who’ve yet to join the programme to come along and discover more about it, and there will be an opportunity for businesses to network.

Working for Carers, which is run by the charity Carer Support Wiltshire, was launched in July to highlight the number of carers among the county’s workforce, and to encourage employers to help them juggle their caring and work commitments. There are known to be around 47,500 carers in Wiltshire, many of whom will be in employment.

In its first six months, Working for Carers has attracted many employers, and Carer Support Wiltshire hopes the event on January 21, at Devizes Town Hall, will encourage more to sign up.

Catharine Hurford, chief executive of Carer Support Wiltshire, said employers were increasingly realising they risk losing valuable members of staff because of their care commitments.

“The majority of carers are aged between 45 and 64, many of them at the peak of their careers.  Working for Carers is a programme designed to help businesses retain those people by enabling them to stay in work,” she said. “Working for Carers helps employers to become part of a network of responsible employers leading the way on recognition, equality, and inclusion in the workplace, helping them to create a culture of support and understanding for staff who are carers.”

Businesses which sign up to the Working for Carers charter can also apply for bronze, silver or gold status, and those which have successfully achieved this will be presented with awards during the event, which includes dinner and runs from 6-8.30pm.

Catharine added: “Although the programme is relatively new, it is attracting a lot of interest from employers and many have signed up. The programme is not just a tick in the box; it gives genuine support to employers who want to support their staff, creating a more inclusive working environment and, as a consequence, a more productive workforce.”

The event is open to all employers, not just those who have joined Working for Carers, and there will be an opportunity to network, before a sit-down dinner, guest speakers and awards presentation. Tickets cost £18 for WFC members, £26 for non-members) and can be bought through http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/working-for-carers-gala-evening-tickets-19767442954

For more information about Working for Carers, visit www.workingforcarers.co.uk, call Carer Support Wiltshire’s free phone number 0333 006 2121 or email hello@workingforcarers.co.uk.