We work to support carers. A carer is unpaid and provides regular support to someone else because they are ill, frail, disabled, living with a long-term condition, have a mental illness or abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol.
Providing support to someone else frequently has a significant impact on the life of the carer. Carers are parents, siblings, sons, daughters, partners, spouses, friends and neighbours and are from all social and cultural backgrounds. Most importantly many carers do not realise they are carers.
We work to ensure that unpaid carers receive the information, advice and emotional and practical support they need to carry out their caring roles. We also work to raise the profile of carers and promote an awareness of the challenges caring can create in people's lives. We aim to ensure that there is recognition of the value of carers' contribution to the health and social care economy of the borough and that this is reflected in statutory sector investment in support services.
It is estimated that carers save the health and social care economy around £119 billion per year (higher than the annual spend on the NHS 2014, which was around £114 billion). 1 in 10 patients visiting a GP practice is a carer and carers contribute at staggering £525,000,000 annually to the health and social care economy in Hillingdon.
Mitigation against the negative impacts of caring is our challenge and our goal. These can be significant:
Our impact is challenging to measure but some headline outcomes are:
We provide information and advice to carers and health and social care professionals through : our High Street Advice Centre; a borough-wide outreach programme; training; drop-in clinics; and, home visits. We also offer health MOTs and training in back care, first aid and dementia.
We have a comprehensive programme of Health and Wellbeing services which give carers a break and support them in their caring roles through: counselling, support groups, carer cafes, trips, physical activity, arts courses and therapeutic care.
We provide a Young Carers support service for young people aged between 5-18. We offer intensive individual support, advice advocacy as well as youth clubs, days out. workshops, learning opportunities and residential weekends away.
We also provide a Young Adult Carers support service for young adults between 17 - 25 years old. The project helps them to make the transition from school to further education, employment or apprenticeships.