HELP AND ADVICE
If you look after someone, we can help
We provide information, advice, one-to-one emotional support, access to counselling and training opportunities, breaks from the caring role and the chance to meet others in similar situations at one of our regular carer’s cafes and support groups..
Looking at the positives
We will work with you, health and social care providers, as well as colleagues in other charities across Wiltshire to look at how we can help you access additional support in your community, amongst family and friends, and within your own resources. Our support workers will work alongside you to build on the positives, help improve wellbeing, and build a positive future for you and the person you care for.
First things first
You need to register with us.
The easiest and quickest way to do this is by completing a short online form here or by clicking on the pink register button at the top of the home page. Once the form has been completed and sent to us, a member of our referral team will contact you.
Once you are registered with us we will send you a Carers Pack with everything you need to know. We will then contact you to carry out an initial carers assessment on behalf of Wiltshire Council. Don’t be put off by the word ‘assessment’. It is not a test about how good you are at caring. It is to work out what can be done to make life easier for you. In the majority of cases the assessment will be done over the telephone.
To find out more on how to access care and support in Wiltshire, visit Your Care Your Support Wiltshire website
Accessing the information you need
If you require any of the information here in larger print, or an alternative language please get in touch.
HELP AND ADVICE
Young Adult Carers
Are you aged between 18 and 25 and looking after someone who couldn’t manage without your help? It could be your mum, dad, sister or grandfather. It could be a few hours a week or 24/7.
Our Young Adult Carer team are here to support you. With advice on everything from accessing help in your caring role, to getting to college/University or learning new skills to find a job. We also work closely with children’s charity, Spurgeons on the transition for young carers from children’s services to adult services. If you are aged between 16 -18 please get in touch.
“The support of Spurgeons and CSW has been like a cushion.” Young adult carer, Hannah.
Read Hannah’s story here.
We have a Young Adult Carer Facebook page. Like our page to link in with others and to find out what we’re up to:
For free, safe and anonymous online support visit https://kooth.com/
HELP AND ADVICE
Our Armed Forces Family Support Project helps those carers with military connections to access services, funding and training. If you are caring for someone currently serving in the military or someone with a service record and would like support please contact us. Drawing from her own experiences as a military wife, our specialist support worker, Catherine Duncan has an understanding of the issues surrounding forces families.
HELP AND ADVICE
Health and wellbeing
Caring for someone can be physically and mentally challenging, which is why it’s important to take care of your own health and wellbeing. From support groups to complementary therapies, we can help you take care of you.
Emotional Support We have a dedicated team of Support Workers who are here to offer carers one-to-one emotional support over the telephone, or at a face-to-face visit. For 24 hour online support visit the Carers UK forum https://www.carersuk.org/forum
Counselling We organise counselling sessions at various venues throughout Wiltshire. Once registered with us you will be offered up to eight free sessions each lasting 50 minutes.
Befriending Some carers feel that they would benefit from someone to talk to on a regular basis. Our befrienders are trained volunteers who have an understanding of the difficulties carers face. Many of them will have experience of caring themselves. Talking to someone can help to lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation.
“When I’ve reached rock bottom, they’ve helped and supported me. Sometimes just being a voice on the other end of a phone when I’ve needed someone to talk to.” Pam.
Carer Support Groups
These are monthly groups which are open to all carers. The groups have a speaker at each one to talk about a wide range of topics. There is always a support worker on hand to help out and discuss any difficulties you may have. We have groups throughout the county with specific groups for those caring for someone with mental health problems and parent carers. In our recent carer survey there was a 16% increase in the number of carers who felt better after attending a support group. Find a support group here
We work closely with GP practices across Wiltshire to ensure that carers receive support and good access to services through their local surgery Many surgeries offer Carers Clinics where you can go along for routine health checks as well as an opportunity to speak to one of our Carer Support Workers. Ask your local surgery to see if they have one.
Taking a break from your caring role
It may not always be easy to do so, but time away from your caring role is important for your own health and wellbeing. Our carer cafes, hobby groups and days out provide opportunities for you to enjoy great company and activities, including cream teas, cookery classes and museum outings. Once you are registered with us we will send you our What’s On Guide with details.
“Things are not always easy, but going to things like the Creative Carers groups has been a real tonic. I go there after a few difficult days and it’s lovely. Everyone is in the same position and we talk and laugh and I come out thinking that things are not so bad.” Sue
Enjoy great company and a cuppa or two at one of our carers cafes. They take place in venues throughout the county and you are welcome to stay for as little or as long as you are able to. In our recent carer survey there was a 28% increase in the number of carers who felt better after attending one of our cafes. Try one and see for yourself. Find a café here
Take a break
Our Breaks Prescription Scheme gives carers the opportunity to access a free break up to the value of £50 through their local GP surgery. The money can be used for anything that gives you a bit of time for yourself, such as a hair or beauty appointment or a sports activity. Contact us to find out more.
Complementary therapies can help you relax and provide a bit of time just for you. Once you are registered with us we offer carers up to three therapy sessions in a 12 month period including aromatherapy massage, manicures, facials and reflexology. Contact us to find out more.
HELP AND ADVICE
Carers Emergency Card
Do you have an emergency plan in place to ensure the person you care for is looked after in your absence? The Carers Emergency Card (CEC) scheme is an initiative run by Wiltshire Council and managed by Carer Support Wiltshire. It offers peace of mind and reassurance that things will be taken care of in case of accident or emergency. The card is available to carers aged 18 or over.
The best way to apply is using this online link: Carers Emergency Card Online Application. Alternatively, you can contact Carer Support Wiltshire on 0800 066 5068 for more information or to request a paper copy of the form.
For more information about the free scheme email Emma Corkill, Carers Emergency Card Administrator, at email@example.com or telephone 0800 066 5068.
Wiltshire Passport Scheme
We participate in the Wiltshire Passport Scheme providing discounts for businesses all over Wiltshire.
HELP AND ADVICE
Working and Learning
Training and Education
Our Carers Training and Education Programme offers courses that will support you in your caring role as well as equip you with new skills. From IT to First Aid, Dementia Awareness and Manual Handling. We also offer courses to help you train for a return to work. All of our courses are FREE.
For more information contact Steve Rose on 0800 181 4118.
Pathways To Work
Our Pathways To Work (P2W) project is aimed at carers or recent ex-carers who, having given up work to care, now want to re-join the workforce. Our P2W Support Worker will work with you to create an action plan, building on your strengths and experience and putting in place the right sort of help. As a result of the high demand for this service, the scheme will be rolled out gradually. Once the scheme is operational county wide, we’ll be able to open the doors to new applicants. Watch this space!
Hire Me My Way
Carer Support Wiltshire is proud to back this new campaign, which aims to persuade more and more employers to open up to part-time and flexible arrangements, from the point of hire. Hire Me My Way offer one-to-one advice sessions, which are free of charge for carers with household income under £40,000. A qualified career coach will give you advice, tailored to your needs, on how and where to find and apply for a job that fits with your caring responsibilities. Visit www.HireMeMyWay.org.uk for more info.
Working For Carers
Our Working For Carers initiative helps employers support the carers in their workforce, retain staff and boost their employer brand.
HELP AND ADVICE
Money and Benefits
Are you worried about debt or are you struggling with budgeting and making ends meet? Carer Support Wiltshire, in conjunction with the Citizens Advice Bureau, run a Money Mentoring programme to help you manage your finances. This can take the form of one off advice or a series of up to four face to face meetings. All sessions are in strict confidence and non-judgemental so that we can help you to effectively assess your current situation and to look at what you can do to get on top of your money.
If you think that you could benefit from this service please call us on 0800 181 4118 and ask to speak to a support worker who will refer you into the programme and one of our money mentors will call you to take you through the process.
Financial support – things to consider
- If you spend at least 35 hours a week caring you may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance. There are also other benefits and credits that you may be able to get.
- The person you care for may be able to get help with the extra costs of being disabled or having a long term health condition. See if they can claim Attendance Allowance (AA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
- Tax credits and Income Support can help top up your income.
- Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support can help with housing costs if you have a low income. You may also be able to get help heating your home.
- You may be able to get help with health and care costs including help paying for dental treatment, free prescriptions, and help managing and paying for care and support.
- Carer’s Credit is not a benefit but will help make sure you will still have a state pension even if your caring responsibilities mean that you can’t work. Pension Credit is extra money for pensioners on a low income.
- You can apply online for a free TV licence if you are 75 or older on the TV licensing website. You can also apply by phone: 0300 790 6071 (minicom: 0300 709 6050). Find out how to get a free or discounted TV licence on Gov.uk
CarerSmart Discount Club
As a carer you can join the CarerSmart discount club which offers benefits and discounts exclusively to carers and people with care needs. Joining is easy and free, once you’re a member, you can benefit from a wide range of offers including cash back on shopping from numerous high street retailers and discounts on holidays and travel. Visit the CarerSmart website to register. https://www.carersmart.org/ Grants for carers If you, or the person you care for need extra help to pay for something, there are many grants, funds, and charities, like the Carers Trust that may be able to help. Our experienced team can help you to find out if you are eligible.
HELP AND ADVICE
We want to ensure that carers’ voices are directly involved in all decision making for the development of new and existing services which support carers across Wiltshire. Your voice and experience as a carer count, and can influence change. That’s why we need more people to be a part of Carer Support Wiltshire’s Carer Involvement.
There are many ways to get involved, from reviewing documents from the comfort of your own home, joining recruitment panels, being part of the Wiltshire Carer Involvement Group or taking part in forums and focus groups. We are also on the lookout for carers willing to share their experience and take part in interviews with the media.
Wiltshire Carers Involvement Group The Wiltshire Carers Involvement Group (WCIG) is a group of carers who meet once a quarter to discuss issues that affect all carers in Wiltshire and try to come up with practical solutions to put to the various agencies, including Wiltshire Council, who are responsible for the services that are available to carers across the county. The topics WCIG debate affect all carers and the group has been instrumental in the development of the Wiltshire Carer Partnership Strategy, the Carers Emergency Card, and a number of reports published by Healthwatch Wiltshire. If you would like to raise a topic or would like to join the group please contact the facilitator of WCIG, Steve Rose on 0800 181 4118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.