Are you a Carer?
People providing care to a member of their family or to a friend often fail to recognise the fact that they are a ‘carer’. A carer looks after someone when they are unable to look after themselves. Anyone providing significant levels of care and support to an adult or child who has a disability, a mental illness, a chronic health condition or who is frail is a carer. Carers assume the caring role voluntarily and informally as part of family and community life. However, they may be juggling paid work and responsibilities at home with their unpaid caring responsibilities impacting on their own and their family’s lives. Carers often feel quite isolated and can themselves benefit from support.
In our information below, we provide details of local carers organisations across the nine boroughs that we serve. Following this you can find information regarding general sources of information and support, allowance entitlements, information on caring for a child with a sight impairment and information on guiding and assisting.
Our page on Coping with Sight Loss provides information that may be informative to those wanting to understanding the needs of someone with a visual impairment. The section covering getting help provides information and contact details of organisations offering support for people with a visual impairment locally and nationally. Further contact details can be found on our Useful Links page.
Your local borough will probably have a carers’ support team and it is a good idea to make contact with them to find out what’s available for you. Contact details for carers’ support for the boroughs that we serve can be found below:
Barnet Carers Centre, Global House, 303 Ballards Lane, London, N12 8NP.
Telephone: 020 8343 9698
Fax: 020 8445 1193
Brent Carers Centre, Wembley Centre for Health & Care, 116 Chaplin Road, Wembley, Middlesex, HA0 4UZ.
Telephone: 020 8795 6240
Fax: 020 8795 6250
Ealing Carers Centre, Sycamore Lodge, 1 Edgecote Close, Acton, London, W3 8PH.
Telephone: 020 8840 1566
Fax: 020 8840 5688
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 9.30am-4.30pm (except Bank Holidays and other seasonal breaks)
See also West London
Enfield Carers Centre, Britannia House, 137-143 Baker Street, Enfield, EN1 3JL.
Telephone: 020 8366 3677
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 9.00am-5.00pm with Drop In: Mon-Fri: 10.00am-12.00pm and 2.00pm-4.00pm.
Lea Valley Crossroads Care Service, Community House, 311 Fore Street,
Edmonton, N9 0PZ.
Telephone: 020 8373 6210
Fax: 020 8043 1159
Harrow Carers, 376-378 Pinner Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA2 6DZ.
Telephone: 020 8868 5224
Hillingdon Carers, Luther Bouch House, 126 High Street, Uxbridge, UB8 1JT.
Telephone: 01895 811206
Opening hours: Mon: 10.00am-2.00pm, Tues-Fri: 10.00am-4.00pm.
See also West London
Hounslow Carers Outreach Centre, 82 Hampton Road, Twickenham, TW2 5QS.
Telephone: 020 8755 4000
Fax: 020 8755 4003
See also West London
Richmond Carers Centre, 5 Briar Road, Twickenham, Richmond upon Thames, TW2 6RB.
Telephone: 020 8867 2380
Opening hours: 9.30am to 4.00pm with 24 hour answerphone. 1-to-1 Support Service available by appointment.
West London (Hillingdon, Hounslow, Ealing)
Hillingdon Crossroads, 21 Windsor Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 1AB.
Telephone: 01895 258888
For general advice in respect to being a carer we suggest referring to and/or contacting the following organisations:
- Carers UK supports carers for people of all disabilities. Carers give so much to society yet, as a consequence of caring, they can experience ill health, poverty and discrimination. Carers UK is an organisation of carers campaigning for recognition of the value of carers’ contributions to society and to ensure that carers get the practical, financial and emotional support they need.
- HM Government website for information on the services available to you. Information on Carers can also be found on their Carers page.
- Carers Trust is a charitable organisation providing comprehensive carers’ support services across the UK. Local organisations are listed above or you can contact their Head Office on 0844 800 4361. Alternatively, you can email them at email@example.com.
- Contact A Family is a charity supporting the families of disabled children. They provide a range of services including a helpline and support groups, as well as providing information and resources covering benefits, education, health and social care services.
- The RNIB offers a range of support services and provides a wealth of information for those living with a sight impairment. This may be of interest to carers in understanding the issues faced by someone coming to terms with a sight impairment. (See also our Coping with sight loss page.)
Allowances and benefits
Further information for carers can be found below including claiming financial benefits for carers including Carers Allowance and Carer’s Credits and information about benefits that may be claimed for support by those you care for, including Attendance Allowance for those aged 65 and above, Personal Independence Payments for those aged between 16 and 64 and Disability Living Allowance for children under 16 years of age. Further information on available benefits can be found on the Money Advice Service website and on the Turn 2 Us website. These benefits are tax free.
- Carer’s Allowance. The main financial benefit for carers is Carer’s Allowance. Carers Allowance can be claimed by those supporting someone for a minimum of 35 hours per week. Details of Carer’s Allowance can be found on the Carers UK website. To find out more and apply for Carer’s Allowance, visit the UK Government website.
- Carer’s Credits. If you support someone for a minimum of 20 hours per week, you may be entitled to Carer’s Credits. See the UK Government website for further information on this.
- Attendance Allowance. Attendance allowance can be claimed by those aged 65 and older to help pay for their personal care needs. Information on attendance allowance can be found on the Carers UK website and can be claimed through the UK Government website. Further information on claiming Attendance Allowance is also available on the NHS Services website.
- Personal Independence Payments. Personal Independence Payments can be claimed by those between 16 and 64 years of age. Information on submittting a claim is available on the Carers UK website. For further information and to submit a claim, visit the UK Government website. Further information is available on the Citizens Advice website.
- Disability Living Allowance. Disability Living Allowance can be claimed by those bringing up a child under 16 that has a disability. Information on claiming DLA can be found on the Carers UK website. For further information and to submit a claim, visit the UK Government website. Further information on claiming can be found on the Contact A Family website, an organisation supporting families with disabled children.
- Blind Children UK supports children with sight loss and their families. They can be contacted on 0800 781 1444 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Royal London Society for Blind provide a range of services and activities to support young people, drawing on sport and education to encourage those with a visual impairment to grow and to fulful their potential.
- The Action for Blind People website offers a range of services to support children and young people with visual impairments and their families.
- The National Council for the Blind in Ireland has information on choosing toys for children with a visual impairment.
Guiding and assisting
- The National Council for the Blind in Ireland offers an excellent introduction to guiding techniques for anyone new to working with people with a visual impairment.
- The United States National Center for Biotechnology Information website provides information on guiding and assisting someone with a sight impairment.