Are you an unpaid carer in Surrey?
Published: 29 April 2020
There is help available
If you are one of the estimated 115,000 carers living in Surrey, the coronavirus pandemic will most likely have had a significant impact on you. A survey by the charity Carers UK says 70% of carers are providing more care because of the closure or reduction of local services and 55% of unpaid carers are feeling overwhelmed by the extra responsibility.
At this time, the role of carers is even more important. Many services that provide help and support will not be operating in the same way, but there is still lots of help out there for Surrey residents. Do make contact without delay and get the support you need to manage.
Surrey County Council Community Helpline
The helpline has been set up to help residents, if family or friends are unable to help, with picking up shopping and prescriptions. There is also a telephone befriending service for people who are feeling vulnerable and isolated.
You can call the helpline on 0300 200 1008 Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am-2pm. Deaf and hearing impaired residents can text on 0786 0053 465.
There is also specific Covid-19 advice for carers web page.
Local help for carers
Action for Carers Surrey is providing a wide range of 'at distance' support for carers of all ages, including those under 18, who are encouraged to check how they can be supported during this time.
Action for Carers
Of particular interest if you are under 70, the charity can provide you with a letter to help you shop during the special opening hours. You can call them on 0303 040 1234 or go to the Action for Carers website for up-to-date information on special opening hours and volunteer card schemes for specific supermarkets. Many supermarkets have special times and priority deliveries for older or vulnerable people, as well as carers. Some have special volunteer shopping cards, or gift cards which can be bought online so friends or relatives shopping on your behalf don't have to handle cash.
You may not be able to access face-to-face support or respite, but Crossroads Surrey is still offering care and companionship by telephone, as well as practical help with things like shopping, prescription collections or even dog walking if you can't leave the person you are caring for alone. To contact them visit the Crossroads Care Surrey website.
Age UK Surrey
Age UK Surrey is also offering check in and chat calls to carers across the county, as well as help with emergency shopping. Visit the Age UK website to find out more.
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