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Carers UK Advice Team : Anything We Can Do ? Forum Advice " Team " Calling ! Houston , We Have A Problem ! - Carers UK Forum

Carers UK Advice Team : Anything We Can Do ? Forum Advice " Team " Calling ! Houston , We Have A Problem !

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
We are aware that the CUK Advice Team are having " Problems. "

We can only go on occasional postings by those on the inside ... recently " Staffing levels. "

I did point out to Helena , and David , during their appearances on the Forum that Univeral Credit ( UC ) would create a whole new dimension as it was rolled out across the country ... I wonder if UC has been a major factor ?

Still , given that some readers step into threads with advice , is there a more practical way of " Us " helping the Advice Team ?

Not a partnership , more of mutual assistance ( Magic words ! ) ?

After all , whilst it is a case of CUK on one side , us on the other inside CarerLand ( Including former carers like me ) , there is a mutual interest element here ... carers needing help / assistance / advice almost across the whole spectrum.

In turn ,the CUK Advice Team could be freer to handle the more complex referrals.

Not a case of us first , then the CUK Advice team ... that would never work ( Although it happens frequently as I type ... I'm " Guilty " of that myself ) ... a more structured relationship ?

As often mentioned , there is a whole army of former carers out there ... their experiences are going to waste !

A potential " Goer " ... or merely pie in the sky ?

Perhaps one of the " Reds " reading this thread online , either logged in as a Red or , most probably , anonymously as a guest , would pass on this suggestion ... to a colleague as opposed to literally pass on , as in lob in bin ( Lobbying for short ) ?

One clear case of " We " ( CUK / Carers ) are all in this together ... when helping fellow carers.

CUK's resources are stretched ... so we are told ... one way to ease that pressure !
The CUK Advice line is mainly staffed by trained Volunteers - details of how to apply and become a volunteer can be found on the main website. It doesn't have to be an 'office' based position , calls can be forwarded to your own phone so it doesn't matter where you live..
.... and a structured relationship between forum members and the Advice Team ?

The forum is now a half way house as regular posters giving advice on threads will appreciate.

As such , many are already " Volunteering " freely regardless of whatever " Qualifications " are needed to become a CUK recognised volunteer.

In turn , does that mean that some posters , who are NOT recognised volunteers , are sailing a little too close to the wind by giving advice / information / recommendations ?

Forum Rule 2 ... Be Supportive ... forum posters are going beyond that on a daily basis ... silent on that eventuality which could be " Fun " if one us gave incorrent advice , and it proved to be detrimental to a fellow carer ?

A case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted ?

Dare I use that favoured phrase of mine ... Grass Roots ... again.

It's thanks to the Grass Roots that the CUK Advice Team is not overwhelmed on a daily basis.

And , what " Thanks " have the forum posters ever received from CUK to doing precisely that ... off their own backs , sensing the need to help and assist a fellow carer with whatever problem ?

Time for the ceiling , separating those upstairs with those on the ground floor forum , to be removed ... or made of glass ... as in Chinese walls within banks ?

Again , I am suggesting a new way forward whereby everyone benefits ... CUK / existing and new posters.
Not terribly related to your post Chris but an observation on here and on a dementia forum that history repeats. There is a steady cycle of those with tentative posts not even sure if they are a real carer or whether they should be posting here at all. The fact they have arrived for whatever reason means of course they should be here! .. right through to end of life and bereavement help. I've been through the whole cycle but you see the same problems coming up time and time again. It reflects the cycle of humankind I suppose, constantly entering and exiting the world in which we live. Whatever problems you are "uniquely" facing today someone else dealt with the same last week or last year.
I went to a talk this week. The speaker said that they had a grant, in thousands, from Comic Relief. Have CUK thought about asking them to fund the helpline? Afte all it's for all carers in the UK. I would like to see the helpline reply directly on the forum to basic questions, like Am I eligible for Carers Allowance? I'm worried a parent is getting forgetful, what do I do next?
GRANTS FOR CHARITIES ... Camelot obvious one ... Google search ... take your pick :

https://www.google.com/search?q=grants+ ... =firefox-b

On the Gift Aid front ... how charities can benefit from monies coming in ... the BIBLE :

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/gift-aid-wh ... n-claim-on

Someone inside CUK must be responsible to hoovering up all the freebie monies available through whichever avenue ?

If not , can I borrow the hoover for , say , a couple of weeks ? ... 10% on every £ 100 in the bag , 9% after the first £ 1,000 ?

The published accounts should reveal the figures under " Gift Aid " reclaimed / received ... if broken down , possibly in the appendix.

Time for someone else to do some trawling ... I'm delegating , for once !

Advice Line ... costs ... staffed by paid volunteers ?

Always a bug bear with me when comparing modern practices / costings with those of the past.

Shelter , and how they managed to survive their first few years ... " 10p in the box for the phone call ? " ... phone call made from nearest public telephone box ... etc. etc. ... oh , for some charities to lose sight of their humble origins as soon as the monies start flowing in ?


In the absence of a " Suggestions box / thread / email facility " , we await CUK's view on these ideas ... do they fly or not ???
I've highlighted this topic to CUK for their response.

In the meantime I can confirm that CUK has received grants in the past specifically to support the Adviceline - but the grants can only last for so long before they run out ! If memory serves me right the last one was some 5 years or so ago.

Unfortunately our Adviceline is a victim of it's own success - the more advice they give, the better they get and the more they attract people needing the advice - but without more Volunteers it can't 'grow'. If anyone thinks that they might like to volunteer a few hours a week please get in touch with the Volunteering team - either through the main website or by email to volunteering@carersuk.org
Thanks Susie.

Just the question of non approved forum volunteers giving advice / guidance / information on the forum to go.

Would certainly impact on the NEW TO THE FORUM and CARER & DISABILITY BENEFITS sections ... by NOT giving the aforementioned , straight upstairs to the over worked approved volunteers man / womaning the Advice Lines ?

If any change , Rule 2 in the Community Guidelines would need modification to reflect the " New " status quo.

Straight YES and NO as to what forum members can post in reply onto those 2 sections , and any others which call for advice / guidance / information.

At present , no disclaimer on there to protect anyone , including CUK ... one step removed , giving incorrect whatever.

An example of what I refer to from the Mental Health Trust forum ... commonly known as a " Get out " or " Whitewash " clause :

By using the Mental Health Forum you agree that you are bound by our disclaimer and our terms of service.

Any advice posted on the Mental Health Forum is for support purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for advice by a qualified professional.

( Could be " Interesting " if the approved volunteers are NOT ? ... if so , NO professional indemnity cover either ? ... unless CUK's covers them ??? )

You agree to indemnify and hold harmless this forum, and the owners of this forum, Together 4 Change Limited.

( Even Joomkit covered if the knives are being sharpened ? ... any other forums they have created and / or currently run ? )

You agree, through your use of this forum, that you will not post any material which is false, abusive, harassing, obscene, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise in violation of ANY law.

This site does not align itself to any one political, religious, medical or cultural bias.

If something like that appears elsewhere , APOLOGIES !!!

Right on the top part of the forum ... as bold as possible ... would have been my choice.

Even , a " Please read before entering the forum " ... with a tick box seen on other forums ... no tick , no entry !

Maybe worthwhile bouncing that off the legal eagles within CUK ... or even CUK's contacts within Clifford Chance ?

No UK case law on the internet for a guide ... yet ... there WILL be a first ?
We did definitely have a disclaimer in place saying that views expressed/advice given by members was not necessarily a view/advice from CUK - so hopefully as I've already highlighted this thread to Admin they will pick up on that too.

I know that a lot of members prefix any answers to such questions with phrases like

"in my own experience............"
"I'm not an expert but ..................."
or something along the lines of
"You need to seek professional advice..............."

You'll probably have noticed that the Moderators very rarely make a definitive statement, preferring to point members towards the Adviceline or Citizens Advice Bureau or another advice agency.
Thanks Susie ... I was sure that some form of disclaimer was around ... strong enough ?

" Get out " phrases ?

In context , fine BUT ... a stronger disclaimer would provide the protection whereas arguing over the " Context " would be a weak argument ... possibly thrown out in a court of law ... given the power , and presence , of a strong disclaimer.

A judge could argue that a leading charity , with a forum of years standing , should be aware of the law pertaining to public forums , and the pitfalls for NOT protecting itself , and forum members , by the use of an adequate disclaimer.

On reflection , i would opt for the " Please read ... " preliminary page ... tick box to indicate that you have read the Disclaimer ... before entry to the forum is allowed.

Similar on many online retail sites when proceeding to the checkout section.

In law , by ticking that box , the law will say that you read the terms and conditions even if you , like most , did not ... and are bound by them !

Slight delay in getting in BUT ... no potential time bombs in postings.

The sub question on qualified persons giving advice through the Advice Line is one for CUK to ponder on.

Whether CUK's indemnity policies cover those eventualities is , again , one for them to mull over.

Purely picked up from posting the example of the MHT forum disclaimer.

There might be , on just one occasion , I become the hero , and opposed to the frequent villain , of the day ... just one once , mind !

Regards to all !