Research shows that the number of family and unpaid carers caring for and supporting other people is rising because people are living longer.
Charity Carers UK says that 6,000 people start looking after someone each day. That equals over two million people each year.
Looking after someone who is frail, ill, disabled or who has mental health or substance misuse problems can have a huge impact on a carer’s physical and mental health.
Caring responsibilities affect education, your ability to work, your finances and social life as well as family relationships.
And, as our recent Care during Covid report highlights, family carers across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have been under added pressures during the pandemic, coping with disruptions to their usual services and support.
With carers of all ages providing many hours of vital support each week, it’s essential that they look after their own health and wellbeing and get information, advice, support – and a break - if they need it.
This month, we’re supporting Carers’ Rights Day on Thursday 26 November which this year is all about knowing your rights as a carer, asking for what you need – and knowing how to challenge things if your rights are not met.
Carers in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
In the last UK census in 2011, 60,176 people in Cambridgeshire and 17,690 in Peterborough identified themselves as Carers.
Throughout their lives, people may have multiple caring roles, including ‘sandwich carers’ who may have dependent children at the same time as caring for older relatives.
Local carers from black and minority ethnic groups are likely to be under-identified in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The Gypsy and Traveller community is at particular risk of missing out on Carer’s Allowance because of the impact of travelling and may be forced to move away from established community networks to be able to access equipment and adaptions.
Local services for carers
Across Cambridgeshire, the county council has an all-age carers service. Since August 2020, this is provided by:
- Caring Together – supporting adult carers
- Making Space - for carers of adults with mental health needs
- Centre 33 – for young carers under 18 and young adult carers under 25
Young Carers and Young Adult Carers
Many young people under 25, including primary age children, across our area, provide unpaid care for family members and friends.
Centre 33 delivers carer support to young people up to the age of 25 in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
- young carers’ needs assessments
- information, advice and support
- opportunities to meet up with other young carers
- one to one support
- groups in primary and secondary schools
Contact Centre 33
Caring Together also provides some services in our area for young carers, including carer breaks, a specialist carer helpline and a Children in Need funded programme ‘Free to be Me’.
Are you raising a child or young person with disabilities or additional needs? Pinpoint, the parent carer forum for Cambridgeshire, can signpost you to help and support, runs events and information sessions and also offers a chance to get involved in shaping local services.
The county council’s Local Offer webpages have information about how children and young people 0 - 25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported.
In Cambridgeshire, Caring Together is contracted by the county council to provide advice, guidance and services to carers.
It has a specialist carer services team, carer learning sessions to support carers in their role and dedicated caseworkers if caring is having a significant impact on a carer’s health and wellbeing. It also offers help with breaks from caring and a quarterly magazine with information and advice.
Other services include:
- What If emergency planning scheme – if a carer cannot continue caring due to illness or an unplanned event or emergency.
- Family Carers Prescription offering access to a specialist worker at Caring Together who will help you make a plan to support your needs.
The county council has also teamed up with Carers UK to give carers in our area access to a wide range of digital tools and essential resources that may help make your caring situation easier.
Create an account at the Carers UK website using the free access code: DGTL3385
Contact Caring Together
0345 241 0954
Caring for someone with mental ill health?
Are you caring for someone living with a mental health condition who is aged between 18 and 65?
Making Space is commissioned by the county/city council to offer
- One to one support with a named support worker
- Carer led groups across the county
- Information sessions
- Signposting to other services, organisations and charities
- Information on mental health conditions
You can self-refer and make direct contact about support.
Contact Making Space
Rethink Mental Illness runs a carers support group that meets in Cambridge and Peterborough and provides a telephone support line run by carers for other carers.
Group members are also involved in making sure the voices of carers are heard by local NHS and social care services. groups in Huntingdonshire and and friendship group
Caring for an older person