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How We Have Helped Carers This Year

Delivered £1.3m to 3,456 Carers

Delivered £1.3m to 3,456 Carers

There are over 31,000 carers registered with us. In the last year we have had 26% - year on year increase in carer registrations – a staggering 5,301 new carers registered with us. 99% of carers would recommend Carer Support West Sussex to other carers or friends and family.

233 Groups and Events

233 Groups and Events

We have had 233 different carers groups / events in total, both online and face to face. The groups were attended 2,434 times, by 859 unique carers.

96% of Carers Felt Heard

96% of Carers Felt Heard

Our response team have handled 22,430 incoming and outgoing calls. Exchanged 28,199 emails and supported 553 online chats. 96% of Carers felt heard and safe to discuss their situation.

Impact Report


Message from our CEO

Carers describe their circumstance in the last year as being crushing. They describe not even being able to afford the essentials.

“I worry about rising energy costs because due to my son’s needs, I have the heating on often, bath him every day and need to do washing every day. I go without showers and wear my clothes more before washing them to try to balance the budget.” Unpaid carer responding to Carers Support West Sussex Survey, April 2023.

What we do for and with carers does not resolve all the big issues, but it does help in some way to share the burden. In the last year we have given out over £1.3 million in small grants to support carers who are in hardship, to support their wellbeing and/or supply equipment to make their lives as carers a bit easier.

We are proud to work in an organisation which is constantly listening to, communicating, and working with carers who live and work in the glorious county of West Sussex. We use that insight gained to go the extra mile in applying for project specific funding so we can tackle challenges faced by carers head on.

The focus is clear, we are here to deliver what means the most to carers. As you will see in this report, the feedback from carers demonstrates the difference we have made.

Sonia Mangan, CEO

Carers Support making a difference

There are over 31,000 carers registered with us. In the last year we have had 26% - year on year increase in carer registrations – a staggering 5,301 new carers registered with us.

99% of carers would recommend Carer Support West Sussex to other carers or friends and family.

We delivered over £1.3m to 3,456 carers
in hardship and wellbeing funding during the year.

The CSWS team engaged with 10,389 unique carers by email, telephone, face-to-face, Zoom individually and in groups and via online chat functions. A 35% increase from last year.

Our response team have handled 22,430 incoming and outgoing calls.
Exchanged 28,199 emails and supported 553 online chats.

Cared for condition

Carer contact by breakdown of our 10,389 direct carer contacts.

2,225 21%People with long-term health conditions

2,123 20%People with dementia

1,324 13%Parent carers supporting their children (all ages)

1,143 11%People with physical conditions

1,037 10%Older people and/or people with frailty

799 8%People with a mental health condition

416 4%People with learning disability

282 3%Autistic adults

150 1%People with drug and/or alcohol issues

619 9%Others

How are we doing in delivering what carers have asked of us?

We developed our strategy in 2021 based on what carers told us was important to them. We look to accomplish our strategic aims and know through constant contact with carers, what works and what doesn’t.

Our vision is to bring the day forward when unpaid carers are seen, heard, and included.

We aim to Be Connected, meeting carers wherever they are in their journey.

Having space to offload 1:1 is so helpful. I had support from a worker, and I called her ‘The Carer’s Carer’ as she was genuinely interested and helped me in the early years of my caring journey. Carer from our carer consultations group

We have worked with 610 carers providing them with a Statutory Carer Assessment to gauge how the caring role affects their life.

We completed a further 1,386 light touch carer assessments, enabling carers to consider what would help them to support their own health and wellbeing.

We value peer to peer support

There is real benefit in connecting with others who understand what you are going through. Many carers value the opportunity to connect with others in similar caring situations whilst making them feel less isolated.

We have had 233 different carers groups / events in total, both online and face to face. The groups were attended 2,434 times, by 859 unique carers.

91% of carers who attended said the groups helped to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

93% said attending helped them to feel less isolated.

Caring can be isolating but joining carers support brings you a community of understanding individuals where you gain opportunities for support, friendship, activities and you learn to value yourself more! Take that step for your well-being and for your loved one and join Carers Support! Sue, a carer who attends one of our groups

Carers and Cost of living

We delivered over £1.3m to 3,456 carers in hardship and wellbeing funds last year.

Carer Equipment Service 1,447 carers were allocated equipment to support their caring role to the value of £66,006.05

I received the GPS Tracker keyring this morning and I just wanted to thank you for organising the purchase of this for me. It makes such a difference knowing that I’m not alone as I walk alongside mum on her journey living with Alzheimer’s. Thank you for what you and your colleagues do to help so many of us. Tracey, a carer who used our Carer Equipment Service

Household Support fund Between July 2022 and March 2023, over £711,100 was awarded to 1,835 carers who qualified for this grant to help with food and bills.

Health & Wellbeing fund 1,048 carers received a portion of £328,914 to provide support in improving overall health and wellbeing.

Parent carer fund 463 parent carers were awarded grants to the value of £102,160

Discount Card

We work in partnership with local businesses in West Sussex to offer family and friend carers in the county a range of exclusive offers and discounts.

1,307 carers have registered for the Carer Emergency Card which offers a contingency in case of them being unable to care.

cards sent to registered carers

of carers felt safe to discuss their situation

Supportive presence at every turn

We seek to be the early offer for all carers, of which the ‘front door’ to our service, is the Response Line.

Open six days a week and staffed by our Carer Wellbeing Support Workers our service is accessible and allows carers to contact us via email, web chat, and telephone.

Our response team have handled 22,430 incoming and outgoing calls. Exchanged 28,199 emails and supported 553 online chats.


of carers felt listened to and responded to

I found talking to a wellbeing worker reassuring and knowing there was help for me if I needed it made me feel better and not alone. All the information has been valuable and has reassured me and put my mind at rest. Alex, who received support from the carer response line

Supporting carers in a hospital setting

Working in 13 acute and community hospitals, our teams have worked with carers and professionals to support a safe discharge process for carers to reduce risk of carer breakdown or a re-admission to hospital.

73% of our carers reported feeling supported by the carer hospital team to better manage their caring role during and following a hospital stay.

After my husband was discharged from Worthing Hospital and I was referred to Carers Support, my life has become easier. Your organisation has been marvellous. Weekly phone calls from a very understanding lady who put us forward for funding.

And we certainly appreciate it. It will just make turning on the central heating a lot ‘easier’ now that Ron isn’t so mobile and help towards the incontinence pants. The most important point is that everything you have done has been efficient, organised speedily and with understanding and kindness. Angela, who received support from the Home after Hospital team

We have supported health professionals to understand the value in supporting carers and what help is available to carers in West Sussex.

The Hospital team attended 460 multi-disciplinary team meetings.

Over 1,200 health and social care colleagues have attended awareness raising sessions delivered by the Hospital service.

471 carers have been supported via the Support at Home after Hospital service with 100% of carers saying they felt their health and wellbeing was supported because of this service intervention.

90% took the opportunity to discuss or access contingency planning, with access to the Carers Emergency Card and emergency respite.

When you are looking after someone so unwell everything is just so overwhelming and understanding information and the systems is a minefield and you just do not know where to start. They helped me every step of the way by supporting and signposting me to what I needed. I cannot thank them enough. Stephanie, a carer supported by the hospital team

We aim to work with carers and Be the Experts in Carers influencing community partners and decision makers to deliver what carers say they.

Helping carers to improve outcomes

We have been working with carers using the Carers Star (TM Triangle), which looks at 7 areas of a carer’s life.

1,461 carers participated in use of the carers star and 87% of carers reported an improvement in one or more areas. Overall carers outcomes were improved following support from our teams.

73% of carers reported an improvement in more than one star area.

87% of carers reported an improvement in one or more star areas.

2,179 hours of counselling delivered.

294 carers received counselling from us.

Oh yes counselling has helped! I was going round and round in my life. I have lots of friends to talk to but it’s been important to have someone from outside who doesn’t know me. It’s been life changing. My counsellor has been amazing. Catherine, who received support from the counselling team


Volunteers have contributed an incredible 146,704 minutes of volunteering.

The volunteer Check in and Chat telephone befriending service provided 20,910 minutes helping carers feel more socially connected.

Our volunteer Digital Champions helped 43 carers become more digitally--connected.

Expert Carer Communications

Carers tell us that being connected is important to them and we reach out to carers through a range of media to maintain this connection and to keep carers informed about the available services.

carer communication emails sent to keep carers up to date with local news

website users

Social media

The newsletter is how I keep updated. Jeremy, a carer commenting about the monthly carer newsletter

The winter campaign

The most recent winter campaign looked to address carer concerns/obstacles by supplying points of relevant information, support and guidance. The ask was simply encouraging carers to connect with carer organisations in their locality. Post campaign analysis revealed some interesting statistics.

Year on year percentage increase during the campaign duration were reported as follows:

+47% increase in numbers of carers accessing financial support services.


increase in calls to phone lines.


increase in no. of respite referrals.


increase of new users to websites.


increase in carer discount card subscriptions.


increase of professional referrals to carer services.


increase in website usage year on year.


increase in new carer registrations.

Carers Voice Network

Our carer voice network provides a platform from which carers hold a strong and active voice to influence and co-produce projects. There are currently 30 active members of the network.

Going the extra mile

We meet our strategic aim to be present in the community through our connection with the communities and engagement with carers.

This connectivity identified new services and became the impetus to go the extra mile in sourcing external funding to deliver projects that hold a positive impact on the lives of carers.

In 2022/23 CSWS has worked with over 500 partner organisations to raise the awareness of carers. Obtaining funding to set up 6 new projects to better support carers.

Working in partnership with WSCC Young Carers Team and Sussex Clubs for Young People we have raised £28,500 to help to provide invaluable peer support opportunities for Young Carers aged 7-16 years old.

432 were contacted in other means, such as emails, providing information and inclusion in surveys.

Making Carers Count

The Sussex Carers Partnership is a collective of three Network Partners, who have worked together for many years on several pan-Sussex activities. As part of this Partnership, we are supporting ethnically diverse carers pan-Sussex. For more information, please visit:

I’ve had a very difficult caring situation and have not known who to turn to. I am not fluent in English, so rely on my children to help me make phone calls. However, as you speak the same language as me, it has been very helpful for me to speak to you directly and explain everything that is happening. The information you have shared with me in my own language has enabled me to understand how processes work and I can think about what support I would like to accept. Female carer of Pakistani background aged 42 and looking after husband with mental health issues
Translated from Urdu to English

Bi-lingual Memory Navigator

The role of the Bi-lingual Memory Navigator is to support the Crawley community of family carers either through a pre diagnosis of dementia and/or post care.

The Memory Navigator has directly supported 50 carers that are now registered with us.

There have been enquiries from 120 carers, who do not wish to register due to cultural reasons.

It was great to have Carers Support visit the mosque; we have always found Carers support West Sussex most helpful. They’re a very friendly group and will do whatever they can to assist you. This role is beneficial and important to our community. I cannot speak any other than to praise the navigator most highly for all the work done for our community. Kind regards, Ubaid Khan secretary of Broadfield Crawley Mosque

Dementia Navigator Service

871 phone calls with carers,looking at personalised support for both them and the person they care for.

Supported 188 Dementia carers.

I think this has been a lifesaver, it came at a time I was at a very low point and it has given me strength, direction and self-belief that I have the strategies to continue my caring role on my own and access ongoing support. Although I knew about a lot of services I did not know how to access them, having your support to help me access these is what really made the difference. Alex, a carer supported by the dementia navigation service

56 carers were supported by 19 volunteers with 21,616 minutes of call time.

Check in and Chat

The Check in and Chat Telephone Befriending service forms part of our Connecting Carers Service. Carers are matched with volunteers who will make regular social calls with them.

Service on your doorstep

Carers Support operates on a locality-based model. What does ‘locality based’ mean? The intention is to deliver a well networked and supportive approach for each carer in the city/town or village in which they live.

It is about having a richer and deeper presence within each district of West Sussex, providing local solutions to family and friend carers.

The aim of this community-centred approach is to stimulate local partnerships with various stakeholders, coupled with working towards our vision of bringing the day forward when unpaid carers are seen, heard and included, at a local level.

Census 2021

Count of self reported carers in West Sussex
Total: 72,815

Carers Registered

Count of carers registered with CSWS

Total: 31,238 **
(27,655 in county)
(Data correct as of as of 31/3/23)
**In the summer of 2022, in line with GDPR regulations, we wrote to over 5,000 carers who had not been in contact with us for more than 7 years. 5,200 carers did not respond and therefore removed from our records.

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