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Always Here

No matter what the caring circumstance, CSWS offers guidance and practical and emotional support. All work is in support of the vision, which is to bring the day forward when family and friend carers are seen, heard, and included.

Why do Carers need support?

The above is quite a harrowing excerpt from one of the Carers registered with Carers Support. But just what is meant by ‘caring’? According to NHS England, a Carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.

Research has shown that it can take over a year for someone to acknowledge they are a Carer. This can be in part due to the carer not seeing their caring role as separate from the relationship they have with their cared for. For example, a lot of Carers see it as their duty to care for their mum, or partner or sibling. So it can take a while to make that distinction.

If you are not in a caring role now, you might find yourself wondering ‘why does someone need support to take care of their husband or parents’? Which is where the phrase: ‘caring can be wonderful but tough’ comes in. Because whilst some carers may view it as a privilege, quite often, caring is not a choice but more something bestowed upon them. And as conveyed by Mandy, the effects of caring can be quite catastrophic.

Unless you are in a caring role, or have experienced it at some point, you may not understand the pressures which can build, over time. Tensions can appear in different forms. Such as financial woes, mental and physical exhaustion, the increasing need for a break from the caring role, having to leave employment to fulfil the caring role. From the outside looking in, the carer may appear to be doing their duty, but that duty, more often than not, comes at a cost.

What would happen if Carers Support did not exist?

If the charity, Carers Support West Sussex (CSWS) was not around, carers would be left to fend for themselves in what is a maze of various services. Carers are time starved, and quite often exhausted. So to have to navigate the world of social care, can be quite a challenge.

How does CSWS help those in need?

CSWS is a user focussed charity. By this, it is meant, the very core of its purpose is driven by ‘what carers have said they want by way of help’. CSWS regularly engages with it’s registered carers to hear their views. The carers voice has been the catalyst for sourcing external funding to deliver 6 new projects holding a positive impact on carers. No matter what the caring circumstance, CSWS offers guidance and practical and emotional support. All work is in support of the vision, which is to bring the day forward when family and friend carers are seen, heard, and included.

“I have been working with Carers Support for over 10 years, and it still amazes how much support we can offer carers – from emotional support, regular group activities to funding or just a listening ear. I believe we follow the carer's journey, by their side and will always be led by their wishes/decisions. As well as being there for as long as we are needed. I see daily the passion, empathy and understanding from my colleagues as we are reaching more carer's now than ever. The positive feedback from carers is what makes this job rewarding and fulfilling, knowing we have made a real difference to their lives.”

Kelly Stevens, Adur & Worthing wellbeing locality worker

CSWS works with local partners to be present in the community

We make regular contact with partners and in 2022/23 CSWS worked with over 500 partner organisations to raise the awareness of Carers.

In England there are approximately 4.7 million Carers. If these Carers were to be paid for their services, even at minimum wage, it would amount to £152 billion annually – equivalent to the National Health Service budget. Without carers input the health and care system both would not survive.

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