Action for Carers Surrey
Enabling carers to have a voice and realise a life outside caring


If you don’t like something you have to work to change it, Dame Philippa Russell tells Conference

Dame Philippa Russell spoke movingly of her role as carer to her son, who has a learning disability, in her keynote speech at the Action for Carers Surrey Annual Conference in Esher on Wednesday 24 April 2013.

She told more than 100 carers and professionals at the conference, “My life changed when my son Simon was born.”

Dame Philippa, Chair of the Standing Commission on Carers* and a significant figure in supporting children, the disabled and carers over many years, shared some advice she had been given by a paediatrician, who told her  “… a parent, as a carer to believe that you can change the world for your child and to see the professional services out there as allies, not as enemies.

“What he meant was, if you don’t like something you have to work to change it. But you also have to recognise that there are many other people (involved) as part of that change process,” she added.

Listen to Dame Philippa’s speech in full here or view her speech notes.

Delegates at the conference took part in workshops including Mental Health – Time to Change; How technology can help carers; Surrey’s response to the Care and Support Bill; Welfare Benefits; The new structure of the NHS in Surrey and Caring with Confidence.

Some workshop notes can be viewed here. Time to Change; Welfare Reform

*The Commission is an independent advisory body responsible for providing expert advice to Ministers and the Carers’ Strategy Cross-Government Board on
progress in delivering the National Carers’ Strategy.