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Derbyshire Carers Association (DCA) was founded by Gerry Fryer in 1988 following circumstances which found him in the caring position as described by himself at the bottom of this page

Once he realised how little support there was for Carers Gerry aimed for and met his aspiration for Carer support provision.

With the help of some other Carers DCA gained it’s first paid employee in 1989, this has now grown to over 30 dedicated and passionate employees as well as a large number of volunteers.

Why Gerry Fryer started Derbyshire Carers

In January 1975, my son Robert was involved in a road traffic accident and received severe traumatic brain injury. He became a quadriplegic and I and my wife and family became Carers, a term I had not even heard of at that time. Over the next few years I was to realise only too well how many people are Carers.

In 1979 I changed my job to give me more time to look after Robert and also to allow me to become more involved with issues affecting disabled people.
From approximately 1980 I started becoming involved with community projects generally.

These included the Amber Valley Otters, a social club for disabled people; Amber Valley Community Transport; Amber Valley Motor Neurone Disease. This brought me in contact with Health & Social Service workers, local and county Councillors.

In 1986 I started working for Derbyshire Centre for Integrated Living as a Support Worker and the following year as Transport Development Officer.
This all gave me an insight into how organisations operated, how to obtain funding and very importantly, who to get involved and supporting any project I wished to organise.

In approximately 1985, a course was run by Southern Derbyshire Health Authority in Ripley regarding Carers; at the end of the course I started Ripley Carers Support Group. The group offered support to Carers regardless of whom they cared for or where they came from.

In 1987, following discussions regarding DCIL providing support for Carers with my line manager, Louise Silburn, when she said that there may be a conflict of interest she suggested that I start an independent group for Carers in Derbyshire.

I got a group of people together consisting of Carers, Health & Social Services and Voluntary Sector representative’s and started planning the Derbyshire Association of Family Carers, this was launched at Ripley Leisure Centre in July 1988. This was the fore-runner of Derbyshire Carers Association.

Then started the on-going battle to obtain funding for this organisation from Southern Derbyshire Health Authority and North Derbyshire Health Authority. Tameside was approached much later for funding.

In 2001 I was privileged to receive a MBE for the work I had done with Carers locally, regionally and nationally