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Support for carers

Support for carers

Who is a carer?

One in eight people look after someone with an illness or long term disability.

You are a carer if you are spending a regular amount of time looking after or supporting someone. 

The person you care for could be:

  • your husband, wife or partner
  • a family member such as parent, brother, sister, son or daughter
  • a friend or neighbour.

This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally, or through a voluntary organisation.

The support you provide could be:

  • washing and dressing
  • shopping and food preparation
  • helping with laundry or housework
  • taking them to regular appointments
  • keeping someone company
  • helping someone take medication

Many people are carers without even knowing it. Once you realise that you are a carer you could get the support and information you are entitled to. This could include practical or emotional support, or help to claim suitable benefits.

We recognise the vital importance of carers and the support they provide, both the practical and the emotional. Without carers, many people would not only struggle to stay independent but would become isolated, lonely and depressed. However, caring can be really tough and demanding and we want to give carers the best support we can.

As well as involving you as a carer in the planning of support for the person you care for, we will make sure you can access the information and advice you need and offer you an assessment of your needs. You may also be eligible for support services in your own right if your caring role is having a significant impact on your life.

Help with money

You may be able to get help to increase your income if your caring duties are affecting your finances.

Depending on your income, assets and living arrangements, you might be able to:

If you're not sure about your benefits or your rights at work, Carers Count will help you, as will Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre 0344 848 7970.

Information, advice and support for carers in Kirklees is provided by an organisation called Carers Count on behalf of the council. They are the first place to go for support.

They can help with:

  • claiming benefits
  • finding local services, support groups and activities
  • free training
  • getting a carers assessment
  • getting your voice heard, if you feel health or care professionals aren't listening to you.

You can talk to someone about your caring role and they will listen and provide you with support you need.

Go to Carers Count

What's on this month with Carers Count

Carers Count Newsletters

Wellness Service

Our Wellness Service is able to provide support for carers. We have some helpful information on our Carers support  page.

Go to Kirklees Wellness Service

Support from your GP surgery

Let your GP know that you are a carer and ask if this could be registered on your medical record. All GP practices will have a carer registration form.

As a carer you are entitled to a free flu vaccination and your surgery may also offer the following:

  • some flexibility with appointment times, for both yourself and/or the person you care for to accommodate your caring situation
  • agreement to share information about the condition of the person you care for (with their consent)

Help from your employer

Let your employer know that you are a carer, as an employee, your employer must offer you certain legal rights. These include:

  • the right to ask for flexible working, such as reducing your hours or working from home - anyone has the right to ask for flexible working 
  • time off in emergencies - meaning if the person you care for falls ill, has an accident or is without care unexpectedly, you have the right to take time off work to deal with it

Your employer isn't obliged to offer you more than your legal rights, but some workplaces have policies that might give you more support or time off, for example through applying for a career break. Check with your employer or HR department to find out more.

Carers UK offer advice and guidance on all issues relating to caring for someone. They also offer a support system where you can talk to other carers in the network.

Go to Carers UK 

Download their ‘looking after somebody’ guide for carers (PDF, 1.3mb)

Alternatively, you can contact their advice line on the on 0808 808 7777.

Message in a bottle

The bottle scheme is a simple idea designed to encourage people to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location - the fridge.
The kit consists of:

  • plastic bottle
  • information sheet
  • two stickers (one for the inside of your front door and one for your fridge door) to inform the emergency services that there is a 'message in a bottle' in the house
  • the information sheet is completed and sealed in the plastic bottle which is then put in the door of the fridge.
  • emergency services will know to look for it. They will locate the bottle and pass it on to a doctor or hospital personnel in an emergency

If you would like to receive a free message in a bottle contact the Lions Club International British Isles via -


Developed by Carers UK, Jointly is an innovative mobile and online app that is designed by carers for carers. It makes caring easier, less stressful and more organised by making communication and coordination between those who share the care as easy as a text message.

You can create a circle of care for the person you are looking after. Once you have set up your Jointly circle you can start using Jointly to organise care.

You can use it on your own or you can invite other people to join you and share the care.
Jointly works on iPhone, iPad and Android devices and on most modern web browsers (home computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and so on

Find out more about the Jointly app 

Carers Trust

Carers Trust is a national organisation of carers support services with a network of independently managed centres across the UK. The centres provide a range of services, including:

  • information and advice on benefits
  • care and access to services
  • advocacy
  • support and practical help for carers

Carers Trust believes in a world where the role and contribution of unpaid carers is recognised and they have access to the quality support and services they need to live their own lives.

They also offer help and support on a wide range of topics relating to caring.

Visit the Carers Trust 

You can contact them via –


Getting a break can be vital to help you stay healthy and maintain good well-being. There are a few ways to do this:

Local groups and activities

There are lots of groups and activities specific to carers.

They include the popular carer's coffee and chat groups, activities in local areas and emotional support groups. These can help you have some time for yourself and talk to other people in similar situations.

Sitting and befriending schemes

Some local carer services and charities offer a sitting or befriending service where a trained person stays with the person you care for while you go out.


Vulnerable and older adults can receive scheduled visits or phone calls from a certified volunteer friend to reduce loneliness or isolation. Visit Community Friends (based out of the Yorkshire Children's Centre)

Visit Independent Age who provide free information and advice for older people and their families on care and support, money and benefits and health and mobility, along with friendship services to relieve loneliness. We also use the knowledge and insight gained from our frontline services to challenge poor care and campaign for a fair deal for older people – a reasonable standard of living, fair access to information and an opportunity to contribute to their communities.
What we do        

The service provides assessed one to one and group support to young carers aged between 8 and 17.

We can help with
Young carers

Supporting children and young people who care for and look after family members affected by health issues, disability or substance misuse.

Contact us on:


More about young carers

Search Barnardo's for services supporting children, young people and their families 

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