Support for carers

Coronavirus (COVID-19) →

Wigan and Leigh Carers Service and Wigan and Leigh Young Carers Service are continuing to deliver services and assessments via telephone or Zoom (online video communication) - see further details on what support is available and how to arrange an assessment.

Carers are people who look after relatives or friends who, because of an illness or disability, can’t manage at home without help.

Many people don’t see themselves as carers – they might be parents, children, partners, friends or neighbours. A carer can be any age and come from any background or community.

You may have been caring for a few months or a number of years. It’s easy to forget about your own needs when you’re caring for someone else but it is important to look after yourself.

Caring can be very rewarding, but it also makes demands on your time, your health and your emotions, and can be very tiring. So, taking an occasional break from caring is essential – it gives you the chance to recharge your batteries.

How can we help?

We recognise that carers play a vital role in our community, and we will help you to continue caring for as long as you feel able to do so.

Support for you

This includes information and advice about things like:

  • Having a carers assessment including a support plan and personal budget
  • Peer support or social activities
  • Getting short term breaks (respite care)
  • Emotional support - counselling and support groups
  • Help to act on your behalf (advocacy)
  • Education and training opportunities
  • Complementary therapies, such as aromatherapy
  • Carers discount card - giving you discounts at many shops and businesses across the borough
  • Carers registration scheme - register at your doctors' surgery to keep informed of relevant carers information and services
  • Support groups for young carers
  • Welfare, benefits and debt advice
  • Support to have a healthy lifestyle
  • Cheaper gym prices
  • Support and groups on social media

Support for the person you care for

This includes information and advice about things like:

  • Support at home, such as help with personal care
  • Providing small pieces of equipment to help with routine household tasks, or arranging adaptations to their home
  • Respite care in residential or nursing homes
  • Support in the community with activities, groups and day care
  • Employment schemes.

What is an assessment?

An adult social care assessment is for someone with an illness or disability that needs additional care and support. An assessor looks at their individual needs and draws up a plan for their care.

As a carer you also are entitled to a carer's assessment (even if the person you care for doesn't want an assessment of their needs), and it is your opportunity to tell us about the things that could support you in your caring role. This can be done at the same time as the social care assessment for the person you care for if they have one, but if you prefer we can do it separately.

If you are assessed as not eligible for a personal budget we may still be able to offer you advice and some other help, or put you in touch with other organisations who may be able to help, like Starting Point (see below).

How much do services cost?

As a carer, you would not normally be expected to pay for services which help to support you. However, there may be a charge for the person you care for – the cost will depend on their financial circumstances. They may have to pay a small amount, we may expect them to pay the full charge, or they may have to pay nothing at all. We will ask them to fill in a form, giving details of their income and savings.

What happens if you’re not happy?

You can complain if you are unhappy about your assessment, the services you receive or a member of our staff. You should be able to sort most things out with your assessor. If you are not happy with the way we have dealt with the problem, you can make a complaint.

Useful contacts and resources

Wigan and Leigh Carers Service

Wigan and Leigh Carers Service (external link) are continuing to deliver the following services via telephone or Zoom (online video communication). 

  • Carers assessments
  • Welfare rights support and welfare checks
  • Counselling and advocacy
  • Training and wellbeing
  • Befriending services.

Call 01942 705959 or email info@wlcccarers.com.

Wigan and Leigh Young Carers Service

Wigan and Leigh Young Carers Service (external link) will continue to carry our assessments, but via telephone and posted paperwork.

Call 01942 679352 or email info@walyc.org.uk.

Crossroads Carers Support Group (CCSG)

CCSG are sharing regular updates and the latest information around support available to carers via the CCSG Facebook page (external link). They also have a regular newsletter on the CCSG website (external link).

Blue Carers Card

Blue Carers Cards are issued to all registered carers in case of an emergency. It is to alert people that the person with the card is supporting a 'vulnerable person'.

During COVID-19, the card is also being used to identify if a person is a carer and is recognised by GM Police. Many carers were concerned they would be stopped when collecting medication, shopping or travelling to the property that the person they support lives in. These cards are now recognised by Morrisons in Leigh and Tesco in Wigan and enables carers to utilise key worker opening hours. We are currently working with other supermarkets to extend this offer.

Workforce mental health and wellbeing for unpaid carers

Unpaid carers don’t always have an employer or manager to provide support, and so the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have developed a short, 2-page toolkit specifically for unpaid carers, highlighting some of the main resources that may be helpful for them.

Other useful contacts

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