Calling all carers

02 May 2013

Aberystwyth University’s Psychology Department is calling on all those carers in Ceredigion who are looking after a friend, relative or neighbour to participate in a research paper which aims to highlight the support and advice available to them and possibly make the system more accessible.

Leah Brzeska-Laird is studying a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) postgraduate research degree at Aberystwyth which looks specifically at the ‘Carers Needs Assessment’.

This free assessment is available to carers and provides information about the support available to them which at present is not being used to its full potential. 

The mother-of-one from Newtown explains, “What we have found is that not all carers are accessing the assessment and we want to understand the reasons why.  There can be a great deal of support available such as short breaks through respite care, emotional support and enrolment on an emergency card scheme for example.

“It might be a case that people don’t see themselves as carers and therefore don’t consider the assessment to be applicable to them, or that the process is too difficult to complete. Whatever the reasons, we want to know about them in order to evaluate the process and see what could possibly be done to improve it.” 

This is a Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) one-year research project which is connected to a company partner, which in this case is Ceredigion Social Services.

Heather West, Carers Development Officer from Ceredigion Social Services explains, “The great thing about this research is that Leah will be working independently from the Council or Social Services department, and will be able to present an unbiased view of the current situation.

“We want to improve the process, because we want all carers in the county to be able to access support and services that are appropriate for their situation. We look forward to working closely with Leah and the University over the next coming months and in the future, because I’m sure that more research ideas will come from the findings.”

To participate in this research, all that will be required will be to complete a 10 minute questionnaire which can easily be sent to individuals via e-mail or post. Carers are asked to contact Heather West in the first instance on or 01970 633563. 

KESS is part-funded by the European Social Fund through the European Union’s Convergence programme administered by the Welsh Government.