Carers Panel

Want to have your say about issues that affect carers?
Find out here how to join our Carers Panel and get involved in how the charity supports carers in Bedfordshire.

What is the Carers Panel?

The Carers Panel is a way to help our trustees hear the voices of carers when they make decisions that affect the charity.

The Panel is made up of members with lived experience of caring from a wide variety of backgrounds – all acting in the best interests of the charity by challenging and pushing our thinking and assumptions.

The Panel is an advisory forum and a formal part of our governance structure. 

Carers are asked to express interest if they would like to join the Panel. 

What does it do?

The Carers Panel works with the Board to

  • ensure changes are in the best interests of carers
  • consider findings from feedback
  • help prioritise how we move forward

 

Panel members may identify other areas they would like to address. 

Recent topics have included

  • technology to help caring
  • the need for respite
  • the adult carers survey
  • our next long-term strategy

Hearing the voice of carers is so important when decisions are made by the CinB Board. It enables the trustees to take into account carer experiences at every level of the organisation and to respond accordingly.

About Panel meetings

There are four meetings a year, tied into the Board meetings. Panel members attend in person in the Bedford office or on Zoom. We know it can be hard for a carer to attend meetings – if you can make it to two per year, that would be fine. And if something crops up on the day, that’s fine too.

Meeting dates for 2024

  • 29th Feb, 23rd May, 29th August, 21st Nov 
  • All from 11 – 12.30pm
  • Bedford office in Brickhill and on Zoom


Meetings are attended by at least one Board member and a senior member of staff, usually the Chief Executive Officer.

Who can join?

Any adult carer can join the Panel. We want it to reflect all carer backgrounds and a wide range of experience.

You don’t need to have committee experience.

Panel members are asked to

  • Participate in Panel meetings, actively engaging in discussions
  • Offer a carer perspective, based on your lived experience, acting as a critical friend. If you have any personal gripes, you will use our complaints process for that.
  • Follow our way of working agreement that values all contributions 
  • At times, we may ask for your views on other ideas or projects outside of meetings

What help will we give you?

  • We will give you an introduction to the Panel so far
  • We can help set up Zoom on your device.
  • Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed. 
  • Let us know in advance if you’d need any other actual care or other costs to be covered if that would mean you can attend

 

We want to be as inclusive as possible so tell us if you need anything else to help you join the Panel

How can joining the Panel help you?

Panel members say that it has given them back their voice.
If you are looking for employment, you might also gain –

  • an extra reference to invoke trust in employers
  • strategic experience: critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are eagerly sought by employers
  • improved professional networks: new contacts for employment opportunities 
  • extra item for your CV indicating personal qualities such as commitment , passion and pro-activity
  • self reflection opportunity: improve your understanding of your strengths and weaknesses to make that transition into employment

 

Ready to sign up or know more?

I want to thank the Carers Panel for taking me by the hand, helping me to come out from ‘freeze mode’ and find my voice again

Caring often feels like a series of essential daily lessons that society, as a whole, isn’t learning. The panel allows Carers to communicate their lived experience, and therefore help to improve the lot of others.

Being on the carers panel has enabled me to voice what I believe carers of young adults need which is very different to the needs of carers of older adults.