We recognise the vital importance of carers and the support they provide, both practical and the emotional. Without carers, many people would not only struggle to stay independent but would become isolated, lonely and depressed. However, caring can be really tough and demanding and we want to give carers the best support we can.

As well as involving you as a carer in the planning of support for the person you care for, we will make sure you can access the information and advice you need and offer you an assessment of your needs. You may also be eligible for support services in your own right if your caring role is having a significant impact on your life.

Who is a carer

A carer is anyone who provides help and support for a family member, friend or neighbour, who because of an illness, disability, mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope who without their support.

The person you care for could be:

  • your husband, wife or partner
  • a family member such as parent, brother, sister, son or daughter
  • a friend or neighbour.

This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally, or through a voluntary organisation.

The support you provide could be:

  • washing and dressing
  • shopping and food preparation
  • helping with laundry or housework
  • taking them to regular appointments
  • keeping someone company
  • helping someone take medication

Many people are carers without even knowing it. Once you realise that you are a carer you could get the support and information you are entitled to. This could include practical or emotional support, or help to claim suitable benefits.

Where to get support

Carers Count

Information, advice and support for carers in Kirklees is provided by an organisation called Carers Count on behalf of the council. They are the first place to go for support.

They can help with:-

  • claiming benefits
  • finding local services, support groups and activities
  • free training
  • getting a carers assessment
  • getting your voice heard, if you feel health or care professionals aren't listening to you.

Carers Count website

You can to talk to someone about your caring role and they will listen and provide you with support you need.

Kirklees Wellness Service

Our Wellness Service is able to provide carers support.

Kirklees Wellness Service: Carers support

Carers UK

Carers UK offer advice and guidance on all issues about caring for someone. They also offer a support system where you can talk to other carers in the network.

Carers UK website

Message in a Bottle

The bottle scheme is a simple idea designed to encourage people to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location - the fridge.

The kit consists of:

  • plastic bottle
  • information sheet
  • two stickers (one for the inside of your front door and one for your fridge door) to inform the emergency services there is a 'message in a bottle' in the house

The information sheet is completed and sealed in the plastic bottle which is then put in the door of the fridge.

Emergency services will know to look for it. They will locate the bottle and pass it on to a doctor or to hospital personnel in an emergency.

Order a kit at Lions Message in a Bottle


Jointly is an innovative app designed by carers for carers. It makes caring easier, less stressful and more organised by making communication and coordination between those who share the care as easy as a text message.

Jointly app for carers

Carers Trust

Carers Trust is a national organisation of carers support services, with a network of independently managed centres across the UK. They provide a range of services, including:

  • information and advice on benefits
  • care and access to services
  • advocacy
  • support and practical help for carers

Cares Trust website

Learning Disability Carers Voice

Learning Disability Carers Voice is an independent network of family carers for adults with learning disabilities in Kirklees.

Learning Disability Carers Voice website

Community Friends

To reduce loneliness or isolation, vulnerable and older adults can receive scheduled visits or phone calls from a certified volunteer friend. The service is available to adults over the age of 18 who may be experiencing isolation and loneliness.

You can be referred by a professional, family or self-refer.

Community Friends website

Independent Age

Independent Age provide free information and advice for older people and their families on care and support, money and benefits and health and mobility, along with friendship services to relieve loneliness.

Independent Age website

Young carers - Barnardos

This service supports children and young people who care for and look after family members affected by health issues, disability or substance misuse. It provides assessed one-to-one and group support to young carers aged between 8 and 17.

Young carers - Barnardos

Other support options available for carers

Support from your GP surgery

Let your GP know that you are a carer and ask if this could be registered on your medical record. All GP practices will have a carer registration form.

As a carer you are entitled to a free flu vaccination and your surgery may also offer the following:

  • some flexibility with appointment times, for both yourself and/or the person you care for to accommodate your caring situation
  • agreement to share information about the condition of the person you care for (with their consent)

Help with money

You may be able to get help to increase your income if your caring duties are affecting your finances.

Depending on your income, assets and living arrangements, you might be able to:

If you're not sure about your benefits or your rights at work, Carers Count will help you. Just pick up the phone and ask their friendly service.

Help from your employer

Let your employer know that you are a carer. Your employer must offer you certain legal rights. These include:

  • the right to ask for flexible working, such as reducing your hours or working from home - anyone has the right to ask for flexible working. Applying for flexible working tells you about this.
  • time off in emergencies - meaning if the person you care for falls ill, has an accident or is without care unexpectedly, you have the right to take time off work to deal with it

Your employer isn't obliged to offer you more than your legal rights, but some workplaces have policies that might give you more support or time off, for example through applying for a career break. Check with your employer or HR department to find out more.

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