Torbay Committed to “Getting Carers Connected” for Carers Week

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(Last Updated On: June 11, 2019)

Carers across the Bay are being invited to a special ‘drop-in day’ at Paignton Library to help them get the practical, digital support they need to care for a loved one.

From 10 – 16th June, Carers UK celebrates its 25th annual Carers Week, and have called on individuals, services and organisations to do their part in “Getting Carers Connected” – this year’s theme.

With this in mind, independent consumer champion Healthwatch Torbay are offering carers in Torbay free award-winning digital training – showing them exactly how they can use the internet to access health and social care services such as online appointment-booking, prescription-ordering and self-referral systems – at a special event on Thursday 13th June, from 10am – 2pm at Paignton Library.

Carers are invited to bring their own devices, smart phones or laptops to the event, where they will guided through the different training modules relevant to them, from online GP and self-referral services to financial benefit and self-care advice using the internet.

“We know that looking after someone can sometimes come with its difficulties, including getting the right support. This Carers Week we knew we had to help get carers connected to the information and support they need,” commented Healthwatch Digital Lead Simon Culley, “It’s going to be a very informal day when you can pop in anytime you want and we will do our best to show you how you can use the internet to benefit your role as a carer. I really hope we can help.”

The Healthwatch Torbay Digital Inclusion Project is an Ageing Well Torbay funded project that helps reduce social isolation in older people by showing them exactly how they can use the internet to access health and social care services. Ageing Well Torbay is a 6 year programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund using National Lottery Funding.

The project website has been redeveloped this year into a tool which offers people the chance to complete a free online training course in their own time, from the comfort of their own device and become a community ‘Digital Health Champion’. This is available for free via

Healthwatch are also looking to deliver the training via various different community drop in sessions and even home visits and digital ‘parties’.

If you’re interested in getting involved or helping support the Digital Inclusion Project, please call free on 08000 520 029 or email


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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!