Bradford District Care Trust will be thanking the many service users, patients and carers who give up their time to contribute to Trust work on Tuesday 12 December.

The Trust has invited over 70 members of the local community who are involved in Trust activity to an afternoon tea at Bradford Hotel, in recognition of their valuable contribution.

The Care Trust’s Patient Involvement and Experience Team works with people from across the Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven area that have chosen to be actively involved in Trust projects.

These people draw on their own experiences of using Trust services to advise and suggest improvements. The Trust uses this valuable feedback when implementing changes, to help shape its services to ensure they meet the needs of the community.

A local lady, Sara Firth, who has been involved in this work for the past 12 years and has had a key part in building the involvement processes for other service users, patients and carers, said that at the beginning, sharing her experiences was ‘the first pebble in the ocean for change,’ and that the ripple effect has proved ‘extraordinary’ over time.

Sara said: “Being offered that very first involvement activity, I believe, aided my recovery, by giving me self-worth, improving my confidence and broadening my horizons, which in turn helped me pave my way back into employment.”

There are many ways that members of the community can become involved in shaping Trust work, from developing information leaflets to attending meetings and participating in staff recruitment.

The Trust’s Patient Experience Lead, Tracey Corner, said: “We really value the input of local people who choose to be involved in our work. It really puts patients, carers and service users at the centre of everything we do, and ensures we’re continually developing high quality, patient-centred care.”