Support for Carers

Support for Carers

A ‘Carer’ is anyone who looks after and supports another person who couldn’t manage without them.

This can include children, young people and adults who may care for a spouse, relative, friend or neighbour who requires support due to their illness, frailty or disability. The care they provide is unpaid.

NWS Alliance is working with local organisations to raise awareness of unpaid carers, the responsibilities they undertake and the support that is available for them.

At the time of the 2021 Census, over 90,000 Surrey residents reported that they provided unpaid care, although we expect this figure to be much higher.

The Giving Carers a Voice: Identifying as a Carer (Healthwatch Surrey) report published in March 2023, found that often people who undertake the responsibilities of an unpaid carer, do not see themselves as a carer or have not registered as a carer with any support organisations. The report found that this could be for a number of reasons, which include:

  • caring for your child, spouse or loved one can be seen as simply being part of the relationship
  • a gradual shift in relationship and needs
  • people not seeing themselves as doing enough to be a carer

Identifying Carers

This animation, created by Healthwatch Surrey, shares quotes and comments from individuals in unpaid caring roles talking about what is considered a carer, why people do not recognise themselves as carers and how they can access benefits and support.

If you are unsure whether you may be an unpaid carer, Crossroads Care Surrey have designed a simple assessment to help you.

Am I a Carer?’ self-assessment

Registering as a Carer

You should make your GP practice aware if you provide unpaid care for someone as they may be able to provide additional support and help if you need it.

A GP will be able to support you in your caring role and could refer you to local schemes, services and charities which provide advice, guidance and information.

You must register as a carer with your GP practice to be able to access this additional support. To register as a carer with your GP, please visit your practice website or visit your practice in person and complete a GP Carer Registration form.

Support and resources for carers

There are a range of services and organisations that you can get in contact with for support, advice and information.

Action for Carers Surrey – a registered charity which provides information, support and advice to unpaid carers of all ages in Surrey. They can provide support by phone, face-to-face meetings, support groups and workshops. If you’re a young carer (aged 5-17), their Young Carers Team offers free information and support, plus workshops, fun activities and group sessions.

Crossroads Care Surrey – a registered charity which provides services to unpaid carers in Surrey, including care replacement breaks and emergency care planning. They also provide the Surrey Carers Card which entitles carers to discounts and offers.

Giving Carers a Voice – (part of Luminus CIC, an independent organisation) works to ensure carers have a voice to improve, shape and get the best from local services. By listening to the experiences of carers, Giving Carers a Voice is able to inform, influence and, if necessary, challenge service providers and those who make decisions about services in Surrey.

Surrey County Council – adult social care and support available in Surrey.

Carers UK – a national charity which provides information and advice, connecting carers and using innovation to improve services.

Surrey Young Carers (under 18s) – provides support for young carers in Surrey who care for a family member.

Crossroads Care Surrey Employers Hub – an information and resource hub for employers to support unpaid careers in the workplace.

Tribe – community listings and support close to home.