The voice of carers is heard online

Tony Ward and Jane Littlewood have set up the blogging site Who Cares all about health and social care in Blackpool.
Tony Ward and Jane Littlewood have set up the blogging site Who Cares all about health and social care in Blackpool.
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An online portal of information about social health in Blackpool has published nearly 200 articles since it launched a year ago.

Who Cares, the brainchild of Tony Ward and Jane Littlewood, features blogs about care, including real life stories about being a carer and receiving care on the Fylde Coast.

The Who Cares blog

The Who Cares blog

Tony, chairman of Wyre Senior Forum, said: “Our plan was very simple – we wanted to provide a voice for the whole Fylde coast about care.

“The forum has been working hard to try and improve the quality of care provision for several years, through lobbying providers, local authorities and agencies, and raising awareness with the public of how the care system works and how it can be improved.”

Jane, publisher of the Visit Fylde Coast community website, is as passionate about improvement to social care as Tony, and has experience in being a carer herself.

She said: “We had a very difficult caring experience with my grandma who was completely disabled for several years following a hip fracture, and also suffered from dementia.

“I wouldn’t wish what we went through on my worst enemy, and if I can help to improve the system for the future then I’d say that between all of us we’ve really achieved something.”

Tony says thousands of people up and down the Fylde coast are carers, either professionally or by looking after a loved one or friend.

And from nine hours old to 90 years old, most people living in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre will, at some time, need care.

One of Who Cares’ most regular bloggers is a 97-year-old local woman with a long career in health and social care.

She blogs under the name Dobbie, and qualified as a nurse in 1933.

Tony added: “Over many years she has been responsible for helping countless community groups to develop services, particularly for less privileged, disabled and elderly residents.

“She provides a unique perspective enriched by her experience in health before and after the creation of the NHS and its continuing development today.”

For Who Cares, local organisations like Carers Point and Blackpool Carers Centre have also been a big help in encouraging carers to share their stories.

Who Cares is available at www.visitfyldecoast.info/wellbeing/who-cares-blog and at www.facebook.com/WhoCaresBlackpoolFyldeandWyre.

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