Caring for someone
A carer is someone who provides support to an adult family member or friend who could not live independently, or whose health would deteriorate without this help.
You might not recognise yourself as a carer; instead you are mother, father, brother, sister, daughter, son, husband, wife, partner, friend and so on. You might help them to wash, dress, eat, to get to medical appointments, or keep them company when they feel lonely or anxious.
It is really important to look after yourself in order to be able to support another person. Lots of people in the UK are carers, you are not alone. On this page you will find suggestions about how you can find support and services in your caring role.
Do you look after someone?
Our Do you look after someone? information sheet explains more about what a carer is and some of the support available.
What is a young carer?
Young carers are children and young people under 18, whose lives are affected by caring for a member of their family. They may care for a relative who has a physical or learning disability, a long term illness, a terminal condition, mental ill health, or difficulties with drug or alcohol use.
Most young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister. They do extra jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, or helping someone to get dressed and move about. Young carers may feel good about the help that they give and be proud of the skills they have, however, caring may also impact on:
- their attendance at school or college
- completing homework and gaining qualifications
- taking part in after school club, school trips or residential opportunities
- enjoying time with friends or taking part in hobbies
- their own mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Young people under 18 should not undertake inappropriate or excessive caring roles that have an impact on their development and wellbeing. So that we can effectively support young carers, we:
- identify young carers at the earliest opportunity to ensure support services are developed for a whole family approach
- support young carers to achieve their potential and have equal access as their peers to education, careers choices and broader opportunities
- safeguard young carers from inappropriate and excessive caring responsibilities.
Young carers support
Centre 33 is a local organisation that has been commissioned by us to provide a range of support to help children and young people up to the age of 18 who are caring for a family member.
You can find further details about the service Centre 33 are delivering by viewing a pdf of the All age carers service leaflet
Support for anyone caring for someone with a mental health condition aged 18 to 65
'Making Space' supports anyone who is caring for someone living with a mental health condition who is aged 18 to 65.
You can find further details about the serviceMaking Space are delivering by viewing a pdf of the All age carers service leaflet
Caring Together provides information, advice and support to anyone aged 18 or over who is caring for someone.
Know your rights - Support for young carers and young adult carers in England
There are different rights for young carers and young adult carers for them to get support depending on their age. In this guide you can find out about what rights you have and how to get more support
If you need to talk to someone about what options are available, Carers Direct advisers can give you information to help make decisions about your personal support needs and the needs of the person you are looking after.
Are you living with a family member with an eating disorder?
Providing help and support to a family member can have many positives, but we know it can bring challenges too. Centre 33s Young Carers Service are providing group support to young people aged 18 or under who are living with a family member with an eating disorder.
This group aims to:
- Give young people the opportunity to gain peer support and share their experiences
- Provide a safe space to ask questions
- Help young people to feel less alone
- Increase understanding of eating disorders
- Give young people time to relax, have some time for themselves and have some fun
For more information about when and where the groups will be running, please contact Centre 33:
Phone: 0333 4141 809
Text/WhatsApp: 07498 312 776
Support for carers in their role
We commission Caring Together to offer important support and advice to our local carers. This includes:
- Information, advice and guidance for carers and practitioners
- Remote support and virtual activities
- Homecare (this is a chargeable service)
- Carers magazine with news and event information
- Carers Support Directory
Making Space offers support and advice to carers of adults (18-65) when the cared for person has mental ill health.
Find out more on the Making Space website.
Carers' Advocacy Service - VoiceAbility
Advocacy means someone to speak on your behalf.
VoiceAbility offers advocacy support to adults and carers, as well as children and young people, looked after or in need. The service supports people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, autism, mental ill health, sensory impairment, social or health care needs and NHS health complaints.
VoiceAbility is commissioned by Peterborough City Council and is a partnership led by VoiceAbility in association with Cambridgeshire Deaf Association and the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS).
Support for carers of people with dementia
The Alzheimer’s Society can provide telephone support for carers of people with dementia.
Dementia Carers Count has information to help dementia carers
A Zoom friendship group for carers
If you care for a relative or a friend with mental health challenges, please join in every Friday at 2pm, especially if you feel you have nowhere to turn to – but also if you have come through hard times and want to give something back to others who care.
Just follow this link:
For information, contact email@example.com
The Alzheimer’s Society Intensive Support Project
The Alzheimer’s Society are offering an Intense Support Service to Carers who are in crisis, those whose health is affected by caring, those whose situations are close to breaking down, prevention of hospital admission and those who have loved ones in hospital where we hope that by education and understanding we can expedite discharge.
When patients are referred, to them, they contact them within 24 hours and going forward will contact them every day during the first week. During these calls they will work with them to increase their understanding of Dementia, they will identify and suggest strategies that may help overcome difficulties they are experiencing; when required we will make referrals to other agencies; they will work with them to increase their emotional resilience and very importantly provide a listening ear.
They continue to offer intense support to get people through the difficulty they face, our goal is to get them to weekly call and once the situation is stable, they offer keeping in touch calls.
Evidence from the first year is that that this project has made a significant difference to carers who have used the service.
If you have anyone who could benefit from our help and support, please don’t hesitate to contact them.
They now have a dedicated phone line and email for the project.
To make referrals or speak to staff involved in the project please call them on 01223 620962
Free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The existing scheme for free PPE for carers has been extended to March 2024, or until supplies are depleted – whichever is first.
Requests must now be made using the new PPE Portal. This is a website which organises PPE to be sent to an address of your choice. This includes a home address for a PA or unpaid carer.
There is an online form to get access to the PPE Portal.
Guide to Independent Living
Guide to Independent Living
You can find lots of useful information to support you as a carer in the Peterborough Guide to Independent Living.
To obtain a hard copy of the Guide to Independent Living in Peterborough, please contact the Adult Early Help Team at Peterborough City Council on 01733 747474.
Emergency Support for Carers
What If? scheme has been extended to carers of all ages across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
When you are a carer, knowing that if an emergency happens you already have a plan for how you will manage the situation can help to provide peace of mind and remove one of the many sources of stress. Not only are we able to give advice on planning, if the person you look after is over 18 in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough you can register a 'What if? Plan' with us.
The What if? service operates 24-hours a day throughout the year.
It can provide urgent support to the person you care for, in the event of you being unable to care.
Carers assessment and eligibility for support from the council
Any carer is entitled to an assessment
As a carer, you are entitled to an assessment regardless of the amount or type of care you provide, your financial means or your level of need for support. You can have an assessment whether or not the person you care for has already undertaken an individual needs assessment, regardless of the outcome.
To have a conversation around the role and support options for carers, contact:
Check to see if you're eligible for support from the council
As a carer you may be eligible for support from the council, whether or not the adult you care for has eligible needs.
These three questions are used to work out whether you are eligible for carers support from the council:
- Do your needs arise because you are providing necessary care for an adult?
- Do these needs mean you are unable to achieve any of the tasks or 'outcomes' below?
- As a result of this, is there likely to be a significant impact on your wellbeing?
You must meet all three of the criteria stated above to be eligible.
We will look at whether you are unable to do any of the following tasks as a result of your caring duties;
- carry out caring responsibilities for a child as well as the adult you are caring for
- provide care to other people you are responsible for
- maintain a habitable and safe home environment for yourself
- manage your own nutrition
- maintain family or other personal relationships
- take part in work, training, education or volunteering
- make use of facilities or services in your local community
- have free time for hobbies and relaxation
Financial Advice for Carers
Different types of financial advice
If you are 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week looking after someone with substantial caring needs, you may be entitled to a carers allowance. Further information can be accessed via carers allowance.
Support with housing costs
Additionally, there could also be support with housing costs for you, or the person you care for, which could include extra help from energy suppliers, help with mortgage payments or council tax support. For more information visit Caring Together.
Websites with information on money and benefits for carers
You can find information on money and benefits for carers on the GOV.UK website. This includes benefits calculators, and carer's credit.
You can also go to our Money Matters Pages.
Which - carers and caring information
Which has information about the benefits, support and rights you have as a carer as well as guidance on caring issues, needs assessment and respite care.
Money Advice Service
Making financial decisions for young people aged 14 to 25
The government have produced a guide on making financial decisions for young people aged 14 – 25 for parents and carers which covers what they need to do if you need support from someone to manage your money.
Family Carers Prescription
Access a specialist worker to plan support for you
Family carers of any age can approach their GP for a prescription that provides access to a specialist worker at Caring Together who will support you, offer information and advice and work with you to design a short break from your caring responsibilities.
Information can be found on Caring Together.
Carers at Work
Combining paid work with caring for someone?
Three million people (1 in 9 of the workforce) combine caring for a loved one with paid work.
However, the significant demands of caring mean that many are forced to give up work altogether, due to lack of rights, flexibility and high quality services at home. Carers need to be supported so they are able to juggle work and care and to enable them to return to work if they wish.
Contact Caring Together for support for working carers.
New government website to support working carers
There are lots of hints and tips on the new website 'Working and supporting someone's health or care'.
The website includes information on:
- Support from employers
- Support with caring
- Financial support and advice
- Tips if you are looking for work whilst caring
- Thinking of taking a break from work to look after soneone
Survey of Adult Carers
Caring for Others survey
Every two years the Department of Health produces a national survey called ‘Caring for Others’ for Adult Social Care departments to send to people who are caring for someone who uses social care support services.
You can read about the results of the Autumn 2021 survey on our Survey of Adult Carers 2021 webpage
You can also view the national report on the NHS Digital website.
Peterborough All-Age Carers Strategy 2022 to 2026
All-Age Carers strategy
This All-Age Carers strategy was created in collaboration with Experts by Experience and our Health Partners in conjunction with carers of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
It builds on our successes, sets out where we can make improvements and draws together the views of carers, local organisations, and community groups. We know that carers are people of all ages, so this strategy includes Adult Carers, Young Carers up to the age of 18 and Parent Carers. It does not consider people who are employed as carers, either in a paid or volunteer capacity.
We have used data from the 2021 Census and compared it with what came out of the 2011 Census to help us understand what has changed across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. Particularly how the population has changed, how people feel about their health, how many people support their loved ones as unpaid carers and what it feels like to be disabled in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. If you would like to see the information in detail see the 2021 census data information on the cambridgeshire insight website.
The Carers Trust produced a report in November 2022 called ‘I feel like I’ve disappeared’. It heralded ‘a call to action from the UK’s unpaid Carers’. It urges the government to prioritise support for unpaid carer due to the extra costs of caring. This strategy will aim, wherever possible, to take steps towards answering that call.
North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust Carers Information
Commitment to working with carers
Peterborough City Hospital has signed a carers charter to demonstrate their commitment to working with carers.
Find out more on their webpage.
Support, Advice and Information for Parent Carers
If you are a parent carer you can find lots of useful information on our dedicated page:
Contact Adult Social Care
A cross-party group of MPs and Peers have launched survey to gather the views of unpaid carers and organisations who represent them on their proposal for the UK Government to develop a new National Carers Strategy.
The survey is open to current and former unpaid carers, as well as to organisations who support and represent them, including: local and national carers' organisations, other voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations, academics, employers, local government stakeholders, NHS England, and social care providers.
To complete the survery please click here.
The deadline to complete the survey is 7 March 2024.