Carers Trust Cambridgeshire is hosing events across Cambridgeshire to provide vital information about caring roles and to ensure people are aware of their rights and benefit entitlements. All the events are to highlight this year’s carers Rights Day on November 25 and will take place in the same week as the national initiative.
Information sessions are being held around the county to provide unpaid carers and their families with the essential information they need.
This includes rights to Carers Allowance, Attendance Allowance and other benefits, as well as support from Carers Trust Cambridgeshire in providing a Carers Assessment, which could enable people to have a personal budget for a respite break and other support.
There are more than 60,000 unpaid carers in Cambridgeshire, with 8,600 people caring for more than 50 hours per week, and 13,000 caring for more than 20 hours per week. Of these only about 3,000 receive support from adult social services, and it is those people who do not identify themselves as care givers and are unaware they are entitled to support and benefits.
Hedda Lilley, Carers Hub manager with Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, said: “There are thousands of family carers in Cambridgeshire, people who every day provide support and care to a loved one and who do not realise that they are entitled to certain rights and benefits. It is crucial they can access help and any support and funds at a time when it is most needed to reduce worry and stress.”
Some family carers feel forced to give up work when faced with intensive caring responsibilities and are unaware of where to find help, or that they have some rights provided by the Equality Act 2010 which gives them protection from some forms of discrimination.
Hedda explained: “Carers have the right to request flexible working and are entitled to time off for dependents to deal with unforeseen circumstances. Giving up work could have severe implications for them and affect their future pension entitlement, as well as their standard of living.
“Please do come and see us at one of our stands where our staff will be delighted to advise you about all your rights and entitlements. Or do call us if you cannot make it and would like to know more on 01480 499090 so we can help you and, crucially, ensure that all is done to care for your own health and well being during what can be a very stressful time.”
Other benefits available for family carers are council tax reduction, help with fuel costs, Personal Independent Payment for people aged 16-64, Disability Facilities Grant to adapt your home and free NHS health costs, such as prescriptions and eye tests, if your income is below a certain amount.
Events planned in Cambridgeshire are:
November 22 - 10.30am-12.30pm, Carers Café Neuro, Marbrook Centre, Phoenix Park, Eaton Socon, St Neots
November 24 - 10 am – midday, Shelford Dementia Support Group, Village Benefits will give a talk about benefits at the David Rayner Centre, Scotsdales Garden Centre, Great Shelford
November 25 - 9am – midday, Outpatients Department, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, information will be available, and 1pm – 4pm at ‘One Place’, situated by the hospital entrance hosted by Carers Trust Cambridgeshire and Care Network. Sainsbury’s Coldham’s Lane branch, Cambridge, an information stand will be run by staff from Carers Trust, from 10am till 2pm.