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#HumansCare | Dionne Williams, Carers Worldwide Trustee

We are delighted to introduce the last of our new Trustees who joined us last year, Dionne Williams.

 

Dionne is Managing Director at Forward Carers, a carers support service based in the West Midlands. In this #HumansCare story, find out why she is so passionate about the area of care, what she will bring to our board of trustees and her hopes for carers in the future.

 

Hi! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Birmingham and still live here now #proudbrummie. I am a mum of two wonderful children, who are my world, and keep me on my toes every day! In the spare time that I have, (not a lot!) I play and coach netball. I absolutely love coaching – seeing young people learn skills, improve their wellbeing and increase their confidence is amazing! Netball has also provided opportunities for me to travel locally and internationally. I really do believe in the power of sport and the positive changes it can make for people – it certainly has for me. I now share this love of sport with my children.

 

I have worked in the not-for-profit industry my entire career, across the Local Authority and the Third Sector. This has included roles in social housing, service and policy development, social care, commissioning, project management and business change.

 

I am lucky enough to have been able to see first-hand the real change to people’s lives following services I have developed. None as much as my recent work to support Birmingham carers through the coronavirus pandemic with Forward Carers, where I currently work as Managing Director.

 

What makes caring and carer wellbeing such an important issue for you?

Well, this agenda is also personal for me. I have my own experience supporting family members with health conditions. Over the years I have supported an increasing number of friends and family on their caring journey too. Due to the current situation around health and social care globally, more and more of us will become unpaid carers, and so raising awareness and ensuring support is available is critical.

 

Why Carers Worldwide?

My undergraduate degree was in Social Policy and as part of this I studied how welfare systems operate across the world. It has continued to interest me and so supporting Carers Worldwide which operates internationally to provide and improve welfare support for unpaid family carers, really appealed to me. I was so impressed with what Carers Worldwide have achieved and delivered, but most importantly the difference they have made to carers’ lives and those of their families.

 

What will you personally bring to the Carers Worldwide board of trustees?

I bring knowledge of the carer agenda with operational experience of carer service delivery and support. I am a qualified project manager with experience in business change, risk management and governance. Most importantly, I have personal experience of family caring responsibilities.

 

How essential do you think a Global Carers’ Movement is in achieving recognition and support for carers?

I think it’s very important, as most welfare systems across the world would be unsustainable without family carers. There is still a stigma around the family caring role. Some of this is cultural and women still make up the majority of carers globally.  I think a global movement could really help change the system for carers, so they are recognised and respected.

 

What are your ultimate hopes for carers in the future?

That carers are recognised and respected within their communities. That they have real options to balance caring and work commitments, without being disadvantaged. I would really like to see young and young adult carers supported better through education, to achieve what their peers are able to achieve.

 

And finally, what one thing would you take with you to a desert island?!

This is the hardest question (!) I would have to take my music playlist with me.

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