Carers Bernie and Majella aim to help those who care for adults with learning disabilities in Southern Trust

As carers themselves, Bernie Marshall and Majella Gorman know how tough and rewarding it can be to look after adults with a learning disability.

Bernie and Majella have both been appointed as new ‘Carers Consultants’ to support those who care for an adult with a learning disability within the Southern Health Trust.

They aim to keep carers updated on Trust developments, help them to share their views and participate in the planning and delivery of learning disability services.

Bernie has over 20 years’ experience in community development and good relations while Majella has worked for the Trust for over 18 years in a range of roles including Carers Co-ordinator and Personal Public Involvement.

The Southern Trust has appointed two ‘Carers Consultants’ to support those who care for an adult with a learning disability, Bernie Marshall and Majella Gorman.

There are over 1800 unpaid carers of adults with a learning disability living in the Southern Trust.

Explaining the new Carer Consultant role, Dr Maria O’Kane, Interim Director of Mental Health and Disability Services for the Southern Trust said: “The past few years have been hugely challenging for our staff and services as we have managed the pandemic and we know particularly stressful and frustrating at times for carers of people with a learning disability.

“We absolutely appreciate the invaluable role of carers and are keen to work in partnership with them in planning, delivering and improving our services whilst responding to ongoing challenges.

“The introduction of our Carers Consultants is the first in a range of new ways that we hope to strengthen our engagement with carers. Bernie and Majella will be a key contact for carers, helping to ensure that their voice is heard. I encourage any carers who would like to share their views about services or get involved to please get in touch with them.”

Majella and Bernie have been writing to carers to introduce themselves and make sure their contact details are up to date. They would love to hear from any carers who want to stay updated on Trust developments or who they can support in any way.

Bernadette Marshall: Carer Consultant Learning Disability, Eden Centre, Portadown, 07557819172 [email protected]

Majella Gorman: Carer Consultant Learning Disability, Drumcashel House, 2A Rathfriland Road, Newry, BT34 1HU 07557858749 [email protected]