What is a Carers Centre?
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers has a network of 144 Carers Centres throughout the UK.
A Carers Centre is a focal point for carers in a locality providing carers with the following services:
- Emotional support
- Activities to maintain health
- Access to services – for instance respite care
- Helping carers have a voice
Many Carers Centres also provide other services – for instance specialist support for young carers, back-to-work projects, benefits advice.
How Centres deliver these services is dependent on the locality in which they operate. In some urban areas, services may be based around a central office or shop-front location, but Centres recognise that they need to adjust the delivery of their services to match local conditions – with many having small local area offices or outreach workers who can visit carers at home. The aim is that the service should be available and accessible to all carers in the area.
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers Centres are voluntary organisations – independent charities run by volunteer Trustees who are local people and carers. The Trust believes that carers’ services are best run by people who understand the area and the needs of carers locally. Centres negotiate their own funding with the majority usually coming from Health and Social Care.
Centres benefit from the Trust’s resources in terms of expertise, training and networking opportunities, and funding for organisations and carers. The Trust is also able to use the collective experience of its Centres and the carers supported to lobby for change and improvement in services.