Looking after a family member, partner or friend because they are ill, frail or have a disability, and not being paid to do so, means you are what's known as a 'carer'.
You are not alone. There are an estimated 115,000 carers who live and care in Surrey. All key organisations work together in Surrey on a single approach to supporting carers. This includes the NHS, Surrey County Council, local councils and the voluntary, community and faith sector.
When you look after someone who needs a lot of support, there may be times when you need help too.
Update March 2021 - Carers are now being invited to receive their first COVID-19 vaccination. For more information visit our Coronavirus pages.
Action for Carers
Charity Action for Carers Surrey provides free, independent information, advice and support to carers of all ages across Surrey.
Help includes: a variety of support groups, as well as confidential telephone support as required; information on services, including benefits; practical help on moving and handling; advocacy and information on your rights; well-being events; free resources; and opportunities to influence change for carers locally and nationally.
They have specialist support for young carers (under 18, as well as young people aged 18-24); and carer advisors in Surrey's five main hospitals. There's also tailored support for armed forces carers.
If you'd like to find out more, please call Action for Carers on the number below, or complete the carers registration form.
Call: 0303 040 1234
Text: 07714 075993
Crossroads Care Surrey
Crossroads Care Surrey provides home-based respite care breaks to carers in the Surrey. Their purpose is to improve the quality of life of carers and the people they care for and to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing. Crossroads Care support carers in Surrey by enabling them to take a break from their caring role by providing one of their highly trained carer support workers.
Their services operate throughout Surrey and include the following:
Home-Based Respite Care: They offer a variety of self-funded respite care options, which offer extended time away from caring responsibilities.
End of Life Carer Support Service: In partnership with the NHS, Crossroads Care Surrey can provide a free, end-of-life carer support service for carers and people affected by life-limiting illnesses. A palliative-care-trained carer support worker will take over the caring role, giving the unpaid carer regular breaks.
Clubs: They offer a range of clubs across Surrey for adults with varying disabilities, giving carers an extended respite break. All clubs must be pre-booked. They also run a children's club for children with complex health needs and disabilities.
Call: 01372 869970
Dementia carers' support
If you are caring for someone with dementia there are a number of dedicated support groups and schemes that can provide you with support and advice. You can find a scheme near you by visiting the Surrey Information Point website.
Carers UK also provides carers in Surrey access to a wide range of digital tools and essential resources that may help make your caring situation easier.
You can access the digital tools, listed below, for free via the Carers UK Digital Resources website (Your Free Access Code is: DGTL3562) or use the links below to get more information on each of the tools:
- Upfront a simple tool to support you to navigate the benefits and entitlements system. Fill in your details, spend a couple of minutes answering questions and you'll be guided to the information you need.
- Jointly - an app which helps you manage and coordinate activities and share information between those who you share the care with.
- E-learning - a variety of courses which aims to help you identify and find resources, technology and sources of support to help you in your caring responsibilities
If you look after someone you have the right to a carer's assessment to identify your own support needs. If we are assessing the needs of the person you look after, we will offer you a carers assessment as part of the process. You can also request one by completing our online self-assessment tool so we can look at the impact your caring responsibilities have on your life and what social care support you might be eligible for.
If you are eligible for support from us your needs could be met by a range of options, including paid services and services provided by the voluntary sector. If you are not eligible we will give you information and advice on where you can get the help you want.
There may be a number of benefits, which you could be entitled to as a carer. The person you care for may also be entitled to benefits.
Your local Citizens Advice provides free, confidential and professional advice, including a benefits check service.
The Carers UK benefits calculator can also help you find out about benefits and entitlements.
If you are looking after the finances of the person you care for, you may also want to explore legal issues like power of attorney. For more information on managing someone else's affairs visit the Citizens Advice website.
End of life care
Are you seeking information and further guidance on how to make decisions together about end of life care? Or perhaps you have recently lost a loved one and need help with immediate practical, legal and financial issues as well as coping with grief.
Caring to the end is an online resource that brings together a wealth of practical, legal and financial information for Surrey carers who are caring or who have just lost a loved one, as well as advice on coping with grief and where to go for support after caring. It also includes specific information targeted towards young carers and parent carers.
Files available to download
- Surrey Carers Strategy 2021 - 2024 (PDF)
The Surrey Carers Strategy 2021-24 reaffirms our commitment and determination to help carers continue caring.