New Chief Executive in post

sarah photo

On behalf of the trustees of Carers Network, I am very pleased to announce that the Board have appointed Sarah Mitchell as Carers Network’s new Chief Executive.


Sarah has a wealth of experience working with communities and vulnerable people, in the charity sector, in business and in central government.   Sarah joins Carers Network from the national homeless charity Crisis, where she is currently Head of Private Renting and Housing Development.  In this role Sarah has led all of Crisis’ housing work across the UK, including launching new housing services in each of Crisis’ Skylight centres.  In addition to her role with Crisis, Sarah is Chair of the Camden Federation of Private Tenants and a Trustee of the Nationwide Foundation.


Sarah was appointed following a robust and competitive selection process involving carers, the staff and trustees of Carers Network.  This followed Annette Furley’s decision to relocate. 

The trustees are extremely pleased to welcome Sarah to Carers Network and are confident that carers in Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham will benefit from Sarah’s leadership. 


Thank you for your continued support of Carers Network – I, my trustee colleagues and Sarah look forward to continuing to working with you to support carers. 


Sue Reynolds Hart

Chair of Trustees
Carers Network

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Carers Network AGM 2013

Cares Network celebrated their twenty-secondth AGM at the Mary Sumner House in Westminster yesterday. Members voted all nominated trustees onto the board including, Myrna Hyter, Gihan Khan, Steve Barnes, Ian Peck, David Evans, Michelle McGrade and Jarka Hinksmans.

Chief Executive Annette Furley said, “with the high caliber of trustees and a strong staff team, I am confident in the future for Carers Network as an important and innovative organisation delivering a frontline service for carers in Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham”.

Guest speaker Dame Philippa Russell – Chair of the Standing Commission on Carers spoke about the Care Bill and the importance of carers getting the right information and support to better manage their caring role. She was also enthused to see the solidarity amongst carers in Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham and encouraged services and carers to continue working together to improve carer services.

The event ended on a ‘funny’ note with a laughter yoga session facilitated by Cathy Collymore from Laughte Network.


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Carers Rights Day

Carers and professionals from all over Westminster were invited to attend our Carers Rights Day event on 27th November at the Mary Sumner House in the heart of Westminster – an apt venue of choice for a worthy cause. The theme of the event was ‘rights, advice, support’, neatly tying in with Westminster City Councils aim of building better communities and Carers Networks commitment towards valuing the carer in the community.

The tightly packed agenda had speakers from Disability Rights UK, Department for Work and Pensions, Citizens Advice Bureau, Carers Trust, Carers Action and Telecare Westminster, covering topics from Personal Independent Payment (PIP), the Care Bill, home adaptations, carers credit, best deals on energy, changes to benefits, welfare rights and carer activism.

Carers Rights DayConservative Cabinet Member for Adult Public Health Cllr Rachael Robathan, gave an opening speech, which included recent activities at the council to recognise carers in Westminster, namely the Westminster Carer Awards 2013, where ex – Chair for Carers Network, Betty Hippolyte, won an award for Carer volunteer of the year.

Carers also had the opportunity of visiting a range of information and advice stalls from external organisations including, Diabetes UK, Health Watch, Westminster Communications team, Citizens Advice Bureau, Munro Health Coop, Injury Prevention and many more.

The event was rounded off by entertainer ‘Shanks’ from Love to Drum who got the audience involved in making rhythmic beats on a range of percussion instruments.



Carers enjoy cruise on Thames

On the 24th October Carers Network and City Cruises worked in partnership to deliver a free lunch time cruise across the Thames River for a group of carers.  The mini voyage through the heart of London also included a gourmet three- course meal with running commentary on the history of the Thames. After desert, carers strolled on deck to fully take in the river cruise experience. This historical views ranged from the awe-inspiring Houses of Parliament to the ancient Tower of London (with its gruesome past) and onto the Royal Palace of Greenwich. Indeed, carers enjoyed a feast for the eyes, ears and stomach.

Lunch cruise River Boat Cruise Carer, Joseph Frimpong said, “It was a fantastic trip – I enjoyed every moment and felt totally relaxed, it was nice to be waited on for a change. Thank you very much Carers Network”

Communications and Engagement Manager Cecilia Faduola who organised the trip said “Carers Network believe in memorable, quality breaks and will do everything possible to give carers just that”

Carers Network would like to thank City Cruises for their contribution towards the trip and excellent service on board the hop on hop off sightseeing tour.

Look out for information on how you could take part in day trips with Carers Network by viewing our online Events Calendar.






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Farewell Etta

15e17b98779c5d0c82e013f3530441a3On September 17th members from Carers Action and staff from Carers Network presented Etta Carnelli with a lunch time spread, a bouquet of flowers and a special gift in appreciation for all her hardwork for carers across Westminster for the past six years. Etta is leaving the borough to settle in her new home of Dorset to be nearer her son who she cares for.

Nobody can say that Etta did not care passionately about carers rights, health and general well being. She campaigned tirelessly and spoke up for the rights of carers in various ways, such as her consistent and effective presence on various partnership boards, panels and committee groups, including, the Challenging Behaviour Steering Group, Carer Partnership Board, Carers Break Scheme Panel, Carers Network Board of Trustees and Carers Action.

Despite challenges with her sons care, she fought every fight with great patience, fortitude and grace. Her absence will be deeply felt by all who came into contact with the well spoken lady from Italy.

Carers Network and Carers Action would like to thank Etta for her commitment, hardwork and dedication to carers and wish her and her family the very for the future.

Farewell Etta!

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Westminster Carers Awards

On 15th October Westminster City Council hosted their first Carer Awards. The event was to recognise and thank carers who support a family member, friend or someone in the community with an illness or disability. With nearly 60 nominations and only four categories, the decision went down to the wire.

To our delight, ex Chair and trustee of Carers Network Betty Hippolyte won the award for Volunteer Carer of the year, which recognises carers who provide care and support to people through volunteering with a local organisation, a charity or the council and ensure carers have a voice, as well as supporting people in need. The award was a surprise to Betty who only found out a week before the night that she had been shortlisted for the award.

Betty’s exemplary commitment and dedication to her role as Chair and trustee for over 12 years was met with applause and heartfelt appreciation from guests and hosts Cllr Robathan and Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Hayms who presented Betty with her award and prizes donated from local businesses including St. James Theatre, SpaLondon, Rococo Chocolate, Anthologist restaurant. and Westminster Society.

Carers Network would like to congratulate Betty for her achievement and thank her all her hard work.

Well done Betty!

Bank of England visit

Bank of England, carers network, carers trust, south carers, employment for carer,

Bank of England

On Wednesday 9th October Carers Network joined staff members from Carers Trust and Southwark Carers on a visit to the Bank of England. The visit was organised by Carers Trust and Bank of England for the purpose of raising awareness of support available from local carers centers for working carers.

Communications and Engagement Manager Cecilia Faduola from Carers Network presented findings from a study conducted by Action for Carers in Employment, which showed the business and social benefits of supporting working carers. Attendees also heard about the valuable support carers receive in the form of practical and emotional support plus help to get breaks. The Bank of England employ over 4,000 people across various locations in the heart of London and have a robust programme in place to support working carers.

If your business or organisation employ working carers and would like to hear about the business and social benefits of supporting working carers please contact Carers Network to discuss your needs by calling 020 8960 3033. You can also visit Employers for Carers a website dedicated to supporting employers and working carers.