Local Carers should ‘know their rights’

Carers Rights Day (26 November) is a national event that helps carers ‘know their rights’ and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to.

With Covid-19 in circulation, the role of carers, who look after vulnerable people at home, has never been more crucial.

 Carers Support Centre provides support, information and advice to carers of any age living in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. 

The charity says while the challenges carers face have increased this year, their role remains largely invisible – and many do not know that they can get help.

And taking on a caring role can mean facing a life of poverty, isolation and frustration, as well as ill health and depression. 

Tim Poole, Chief Executive of Carers Support Centre, says: “Many carers don’t even see themselves as carers. They don’t ask for help and they are completely hidden from support services. The majority struggle alone and do not know that help is available to them.” 

 Local carer, Kerry says: “There are so many things that nobody tells you when you become a carer, which I wish I’d known.

” Nobody tells you that you can work and that you can get lots of financial help with benefits like the carers wellbeing grant. I had no idea that there were support groups I could join and I didn’t really know what respite was and that you could get help to take time off.

“I think lots of carers don’t realise they are going to be entitled to help and support because looking after your loved one is just a part of your everyday life.” 

Carers Support Centre is holding a free webinar for local carers on Carers Rights Day, Thursday 26th November 2020. 

Carers can attend a variety of workshops from the comfort of their own home. Workshops will include Carers Allowance, the hospital Carers Charter, and nutrition. Carers will also be able to take part in a movement and mindfulness workshop and a self-massage workshop. 

To register for the event, visit www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk 

The charity also offers a wellbeing service for carers who would like to talk to someone.

Counselling – a confidential space to talk with a professional counsellor. 

Mentoring – if you’re new to caring, or tackling a new set of challenges you can get advice and understanding from another carer. 

Befriending – open to anyone who would like a chat. Befrienders are available and eager to connect. 

Call CarersLine on 0117 965 2200. You will need to leave a message with your name and telephone number and someone from Carers SupportCentre will call you back as soon as they can during CarersLine opening hours: 
Monday to Friday: 10am – 1pm 
Monday to Thursday: 2pm – 4pm 
(Closed on Bank Holidays) 

For free help and advice, visit www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk