Introduction to local carers services

Introduction to local carers services

Details of network partners carers centres and schemes, and the services they provide.

Key Points: 

  • Carers centres are independent charities that deliver a wide range of local support services
  • Crossroads Care schemes are a network of 76 local independent charities providing support to carers and the people they care for
Location: 
Date Revised: 
25/11/14

What is a local carers centre?

The nationwide network of 144 carers centres work to reach carers and develop services for carers across the country.

Carers centres are independent charities that deliver a wide range of local support services to meet the needs of carers in their own communities. All carers centres provide, either by telephone, drop-in or outreach surgeries, the following core services:

  • Information and advice - about all issues affecting carers, including benefits, breaks, respite and support services, carer assessment procedures, aids and adaptations.
  • Emotional support - by providing opportunities for carers to talk through their concerns, both individually and in group sessions, with staff, trained volunteers and other carers who understand their situation, thus helping to alleviate isolation and stress.
  • Community consultation - carers need a unified voice in any locality to ensure that they have an impact on decision-making. By working with other agencies and consulting carers, carers centres can have a strong influence on local policy, planning procedures and outcomes. They can also ensure that the local carers' voice can be linked in to the regional and national decision-making bodies.

Carers centres develop other services in response to identified local needs. These might include:

  • Advocacy - at tribunals, assessments, case reviews, assistance to access funds and services, or whenever a carer needs a friend or supporter.
  • Practical help - befriending, breaks, transport, benefits advice.
  • Training and education - in skills often needed by carers, such as moving and handling, first aid, and care giving; personal development; stress reduction through reflexology and aromatherapy; and training and education for professionals on carer-related issues.
  • Fun - time out, breaks, the opportunity to enjoy a social life, taking into account carers' special needs and sense of isolation.

The aim of our work is to help ensure that no carer has to reach crisis point before they get the support they need. In short, to make it easier for carers to cope.

What is a Crossroads Care scheme?

Crossroads Care schemes are a network of 76 local independent charities providing support to carers and the people they care for, often through the provision of flexible breaks.

Services are provided through a network of local providers across England and Wales, each offering our core service where a trained carer support worker comes into the home to take over the caring responsibilities. The aim is to provide support that is consistent and reliable and build long and trusted relationships.

Each local provider is an independent charity which may provide additional services according to funding and demand at a local level.

All local Crossroads Care organisations provide care in the home to enable carers to take a break. The needs of both the carer and the person they care for are assessed and regularly reviewed to ensure the service is tailored to the needs of them both. Other services typically available include:

  • group support for carers and the people they care for
  • young carers groups
  • social activities for both carers and the people they care for (together and individually)
  • special dementia projects.

Schemes work with over 43,000 individuals and their families, helping carers make a life of their own outside caring. Crossroads schemes employ 5000 trained professionals, providing flexible services to people of all ages, and with a range of disabilities and health conditions. These services are designed to meet the individual needs of each carer and cared for person. 

Find your local service on the Carers Trust website