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Unpaid Carers

Commonly known as: carer, young carer, carers, caring for someone, caring for relatives

Unpaid Carers

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What is a carer?

Across Gwent there are thousands of people who are unpaid carers. An unpaid carer is a person of any age, who provides or intends to provide care and support for an adult, or child. This could be caring for a friend, family member or neighbour who due to illness, a disability, a long-term health condition, ill mental health or substance addiction, can sometimes find day to day living difficult without extra support.  This could be full-time or for just a few hours a week.

If you are receiving a carers allowance, you are still an unpaid carer.

While caring for someone can be extremely rewarding it can take its toll on your physical and mental wellbeing and prioritising someone else’s needs could also result in neglecting your own.

You might feel stretched to the limit by juggling work, your caring role and family life, or struggling to make ends meet. You may feel lonely and isolated, and unsure of where to turn to for help.

Taking care of yourself and reaching out for support can help with your own mental health as well as continuing to care for a loved one.  We hope the resources below will be helpful.

 

Self-help advice for unpaid carers

  • Looking after your own physical and mental wellbeing is important. There are simple things we can all do to help look after our mental health. Visit our ‘looking after yourself’ section for more information and advice.
  • Try to set aside time for yourself every day. You could use this time to do something you enjoy. This may be going for a coffee or walk with a friend, time in the garden or an exercise class. Visit our “Five Ways to Wellbeing” section for more tips.
  • Learn new skills to help you manage any difficult feelings you may have, such as stress, anxiety, low mood. See our self-help courses below.
  • Register as a Carer with your GP. This will help your surgery understand your caring responsibilities, signpost you to information, help and support, they may provide more flexible appointments that reflect your caring role as well as offering you an annual flu jab (free).
  • If you are under the age of 18 and you help to look after someone, a Young Carers ID Card can be helpful to identify you as a carer so that you can get the information, support and advice you need and in some areas allow you to go swimming and use the gym.
  • Finding time now to sort out your legal and financial affairs, and those of the person you care for, can make financial and legal issues a lot easier to manage in the future.
  • Contact your Local Authority to request a Carers Assessment. This is not to assess your ability to care, but to find out what could support you in your caring role. This is also available to young carers. They can also advise on whether you are entitled to Carers Allowance and support you in planning for an Emergency.
  • You are not alone in your caring role, even though Carers say it can sometimes feel that way. It may be helpful to get involved in activities going on in your local community, including support groups for Carers. Find out what’s going on in your area by visiting our ‘in your area’ page
  • Talk to family and friends about how you are feeling, they may be able to help you with your caring responsibilities.
  • For financial advice and support. Caring for someone can have a huge impact on finances, if you are struggling to manage have a look at our “money worries” page and see the other helpful resources on The Care Collective that manage small grants.
  • Please have a look at other helpful resources and organisations below, including information on financial advice and support.
  • If you or someone you know needs urgent help – go to our ‘urgent help’ page immediately.

 

If you need further help.

If the information, advice, resources and courses on this page have not answered your questions and/or you think you need more help, there are many free support services available.  

For support with your caring role contact the Care Collective or Carers Wales

If you are worried about your general mental health and live in Wales, phone NHS Mental Health 111 and choose Option 2 . This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free to call from a mobile (even when the caller has no credit left) or from a landline. The service will provide immediate support over the phone to help you cope with how you are feeling, and if needed, a referral to mental health services will be arranged. 

If you live in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area and are aged over 18, you can contact your GP surgery to make an appointment with a  Psychological Health Practitioner (PHP) or GP.  PHPs are NHS mental health practitioners that are available at most GP surgeries in the ABUHB area.  They, who provide a free service for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems.  Appointments can be either face to face or over the phone. 

If you are under 18 or worried about someone aged under 18 and need advice/self-referral to local mental health and wellbeing services in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, contact SPACE-Wellbeing.  

Or alternatively contact another approved helpline. Some services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Last updated: 19.04.2024
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Self-help courses for unpaid carers

EPP Cymru

Caring for Me and You

A course run by carers for carers. This course helps you understand how to manage your caring role while also looking after yourself.

Learn more
In-person Online Tutor-Led
ACTivate your Life Online Course for Deaf People

ACTivate Your Life – a BSL Version

BSL version of the ACTivate your life.

“ACTivate Your Life” is designed for all adults across Wales aged 16+ who want to understand their thoughts and feelings and to learn practical skills that will enable them to act in ways that will make their life more fulfilling.

Learn more
Online Self-instructed
Woman-Thinking-Mental-Health

SilverCloud

A free online NHS Wales service available for anyone living in Wales or registered with a GP in Wales. SilverCloud is an online course website.

Their easy to use and interactive online programmes are designed to support your mental health and wellbeing.  Find help for anxiety, depression, stress, sleep, money worries and more.

The courses are free and available 24/7 from any digital device.
SilverCloud is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Learn more
Online Self-instructed
Anxious Teen Course

SilverCloud Space from Anxiety (16–18 Year Olds)

SilverCloud Space from Anxiety for 16–18-year-olds is a free online NHS Wales service available for young people living in Wales or registered with a GP in Wales.

The course provides interactive online therapy over 12 weeks, to help young people understand and manage anxiety.

Young people can sign up without needing adult consent or referral from a GP. The course is free and available 24/7 from any digital device. SilverCloud is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Learn more
Online
SilverCloud Mental Health Courses

SilverCloud Supporting an Anxious Child

SilverCloud is a free online NHS service available for anyone living in Wales or registered with a GP in Wales.

SilverCloud Supporting an Anxious Child is for parents/carers to help them support children aged 4-11 years to manage anxiety.

Parents/carers can sign up to these courses online, without needing to be referred by a GP or healthcare professional. They are free and available 24/7 from any digital device.

Learn more
Online
Anxious Teen Course

SilverCloud Supporting an Anxious Teen

SilverCloud is a free online NHS service available for anyone living in Wales or registered with a GP in Wales.

SilverCloud Supporting an Anxious Teen is for parents/carers to help them support teens to manage their anxiety.

Parents/carers can sign up to these courses online, without needing to be referred by a GP or healthcare professional. They are free and available 24/7 from any digital device.

Learn more
Online
16-18 Anxiety Course by SilverCloud

SilverCloud Space from Anxiety and Low Mood (16–18 Year Olds)

SilverCloud Space from Anxiety and Low Mood for 16–18-year-olds is a free online NHS Wales service available for young people living in Wales or registered with a GP in Wales.

The course provides interactive online therapy over 12 weeks, to help young people understand and manage anxiety and low mood.

Young people can sign up without needing adult consent or referral from a GP. The course is free and available 24/7 from any digital device. SilverCloud is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Learn more
Online
Showing 7 out of 11 results View all

Self-help resources for unpaid carers

Type Title Related to… Provider
Websites Websites

The Care Collective (Formerly Carers Trust South East Wales)

Unpaid Carers mind
Websites Websites

Carers Wales – Providing unpaid carers with expert information, advice and support

Unpaid Carers mind
Video Video

Time to Think: Self Care – Mind Newport

Five Ways to Wellbeing, Parents, Self-Care, Unpaid Carers mind
Reading Reading

Reading Well for Dementia: Free Helpful Books on Dementia from your Local Library

Dementia, Memory Problems, Unpaid Carers mind
Showing 4 out of 9 results View all

Helplines and support for unpaid carers

See below for helplines relevant to carers. To see our full list of helplines, visit our helplines page.

The Care Collective Logo

The Care Collective

The Care Collective’s aim is that unpaid carers are looking after themselves, enjoying their lives, and achieving their goals, whilst helping a family member or friend to receive empowering care or support. This service is available within Gwent. (Blaenau-Gwent, Caerphilly, Newport, Monmouthshire and Torfaen).

The Care Collective also manage the Small Grants Scheme for Carers and the Welsh Government Carer Support Fund.

Visit the Care Collective website ➝
Carers Wales Logo

Carers Wales — Part of Carers UK

Looking after someone can be tough, but you’re not on your own.

Carers UK is here to listen, to give you expert information and advice that’s tailored to your situation, to champion your rights and support you in finding new ways to manage at home, at work, or wherever you are. Our telephone helpline is available from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm.

Visit the Carers Wales website ➝
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