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Your spotlight on local services

Support for carers – vital sources of support and information for unpaid carers


Many people have become carers for older, disabled or seriously ill friends and relatives as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and are juggling new intense caring responsibilities with work and other life challenges. This is on top of the existing population of carers who have had to adapt to cope with a lack of access to respite centres and other vital resources during lockdown. That’s why we have brought together some key resources and information which might be of help to carers: 

Am I a carer?

A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for another person who cannot cope without support in their day-to-day life. Whether due to decline in a loved one’s long-term health or suddenly due to illness, injury or accident, the caring role comes with additional responsibilities that can impact on all aspects of your physical, mental, emotional, social and financial wellbeing. But it’s also a role that comes with rights which places your wellbeing on the same level as those of the people you care for. View this link on the Bracknell Forest Council website, which is a quick guide  to help identify if you are a carer and the support available to you.

Support for carers in Bracknell Forest


SIGNAL is a free service for unpaid (non-professional) or informal carers who care for someone in Bracknell Forest. The type of support which is available includes: listening and understanding the carers needs and the support they may need (both physically and mentally), guidance on procedures and form filling, support groups and training. For a full list on what SIGNAL can provided, please visit their website or speak to SIGNAL’s Community Workers on 01344 266088 or email info@signal4carers.org.uk

Carer UK

Carer UK have brought together a wealth of information and resources designed to support those looking after a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill.  All resources have been developed by Carers UK and are offered in collaboration with local service providers and employers.  The Digital Resource is free to access for Bracknell Forest residents using code DGTL4366

Council support 

Bracknell Forest Council Support for Carers portal provides a links to local service and support including information on breaks for carers, carers assessments, caring emergencies, local drop-in sessions and support for young carers. Bracknell Forest Council part fund SIGNAL4Carers which provides support , networking , guidance and advice for local carers within Bracknell Forest.

Bracknell Forest Parent Carer Network  

The Parent Forum is a partnership forum between parents and carers of children with additional needs and key professionals who work with them. It provides a networking opportunity and forum for consultation and participation in planning and developing services within Bracknell Forest. Key speakers are invited to discuss current services and new developments. For meeting dates and more information about the forum please visit the Bracknell Parent Carer Forum website.

Your Local GP

When you are a carer it is often difficult to have a real break or time off for yourself. You can get tired and run down, and your own health may suffer, but you don’t have to suffer alone as help and support is available. Tell your GP that you are a carer and ask to be put on the carers’ register. In most cases the surgery can: let you know about local carers’ support services, refer you for a carers’ assessment which look at how caring affects your life, including health issues, give you a free flu vaccination etc.


NHS sets out ‘care for young carers’ offer in GP surgeries- https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/06/nhs-sets-out-care-for-young-carers-offer-in-gp-surgeries/

More sources of help and support across Bracknell Forest:

The Ark’s COVID-19 Community Response Team offer residents of Bracknell a network of volunteers to offer support. This can be to collect click and collect orders, dog walking, food shopping, GP items/requests. For more detail on the support that’s on offer, please visit The Ark or contact the Community Response Team on 01344 266911 or email community@theark.org.uk. This service works in partnership with Bracknell Forest Council and The Ark Trust.

Mind – Mental health and Covid-19 -Those already living with mental health problems are facing extra challenges during this pandemic.  When you’re living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information is vital. Visit the Mind Mental Health Information Hub.

Good Neighbours Support Service 
Voluntary groups which offer neighbourly help to people in their local communities. 

Talking Therapies offers help for common mental health problems including mild to moderate and moderate to severe, anxiety, depression, stress and phobias. The service also runs regular stress control sessions for the general public locally. For more information phone 0300 365 2000.

Keeping safe while caring during coronavirus 

Advice and guidance around caring during the current pandemic:  





Sources of financial support for carers 

The Family Fund – an organisation which can help with grants for families caring for disabled children, to buy equipment and other items. https://www.familyfund.org.uk/  

Carers UK have put together some helpful links to guide carers on financial support which is available- https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/financial-support

Many carers are not aware of their rights and entitlements so here are some sources of advice and information on carers rights: 


Care Act 2014 Factsheet 8: The law for carers

Carers Trust website - ‘Carers and the Law’ section

How to access a Carers Assessment

The assessment will look at the different ways that caring affects your life. It will work out how you can carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family. Your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of this assessment. As a result, you may be eligible for support from the council. The council will also offer you advice and guidance to help you with your caring responsibilities. Any carer who appears to have a need for support can have an assessment.

Adult’s social care enquiry, please complete this form or phone 01344 351500 . If you are caring for disabled children, or are a young carer who is under 18, please contact children's social care by completing this form or by calling  01344 352020.

Advice and information for health and care workers when supporting unpaid carers

Identification Practice of Young Carers in England – Review, Tips and Tools

NHS England Carers toolkit 

Identification of Carers in GP Practices – A good practice document

2020/21 General Medical Services (GMS) contract Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF)




Contact Us

There are lots of ways to contact us, you can write, email, phone, facebook, tweet or use the contact or speak out form(s) to email us.

Healthwatch Bracknell Forest
c/o Help and Care
896 Christchurch Road

Email: info@healthwatchbracknellforest.co.uk 

Tel: 0300 0120184