Staff, volunteers, trustees and friends of Carers Trust South East Wales recently gathered to celebrate success at the organisation’s annual staff conference.

Over 100 people attended the conference, which took place at the picturesque Lysaght Institute in Newport, south Wales. The agenda for the day involved inspiring stories, creative group activities and fundraising ideas, guest speakers and of course, lunch!

Icebreaker activities included a balloon tower challenge, where in groups, using only Sellotape and balloons, staff competed against each other to construct the highest pillar. Chief Executive Officer Gareth Howells successfully hosted the event and got involved with judging the fiercely contested competition.

Steve Harford, Chair of the Carers Trust South East Wales Board of Trustees, spoke about his role within the charity, which he believes is making a positive impact on the local community. Steve said: “Being a trustee is one of the scariest things you can do, but at the same time it’s one of the most rewarding.”

Staff were also given the opportunity to share their ideas on fundraising and the allocation of fundraising money, with the majority suggesting that it should go back into vital carers services.

After raising over £1,800 for Carers Trust South East Wales in 2018, Emma Ware gave a moving speech about her own personal story. Emma covered the many and varied challenges she faced while caring for her mother and how a referral into Carers Trust South East Wales saved her life.

Following on from Emma was motivational speaker Catriona Hudson, who was tasked with closing the event. Her satirical but upfront take on mental health had the desired effect of highlighting and getting people to think differently about what can still be a taboo topic.