Carers Week runs from Monday 7 June until Sunday 13 June and its theme this year is to make caring visible and valued.

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring run by Carers UK. It highlights the challenges unpaid carers face and recognises the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. 

This year, people across the country are continuing to face new challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.

Support for carers at Katharine House

Here at Katharine House, we know that it’s all too easy for people to forget or overlook the fact that family and friends are working hard to look after someone in extraordinary circumstances. We believe that looking after family carers and making sure they are supported is just as important as looking after the person with the illness.

Carers Café online

We hold Carers Café get togethers online on alternate Tuesdays from 2pm to 3.30pm. If you are caring for a loved one, you might consider trying our Carers Café, which provides an opportunity for you to chat with other carers and share experiences and enjoy some time out. We have a short quiz for a bit of fun and can arrange speakers if there are specific topics you would like more information on. This is time for you.

We recognise that meeting up online isn’t for everyone and for others it’s helpful as they can’t always leave the house. So when circumstances change and we can meet up again at the hospice, we’ll be looking to run a mixture of face-to-face and online cafés. 

Read our page about the Carers Café to find out more.

Hospice Companion Service

We also run a Hospice Companion Service to help reduce loneliness and social isolation. Volunteers provide one-to-one support and companionship to people who have a life-limiting condition or to their carers. Carole, one of the carers supported by a hospice companion volunteer, said: ‘The support I get is absolutely brilliant, I can’t fault it. It really makes a difference to me. If I’m a bit low, I often feel better following a chat to my companion. My companion is a Godsend, I couldn’t ask for a better match.’

To find out more about the Hospice Companion service, email [email protected].

Financial help for carers 

There are 6.5 million people in the UK who are carers. They are looking after a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or physical illness or who needs extra help as they grow older.

The organisers of Carers Week say: ‘Caring's impact on all aspects of life from relationships and health to finances and work should not be underestimated, and carers are facing even more difficult circumstances this year. Whilst many feel that caring is one of the most important things they do, its challenges should not be underestimated. Caring without the right information and support can be tough.’

We’ve put together some links here to further information about benefits that are available for carers.

  • Carer’s allowance: this is a government benefit to help you out financially if you care for someone close to you. You need to meet certain conditions to qualify for the weekly payment. Read more on the Which? website Later Life Care.
  • Carer’s assessment: if you care for another person, you can ask your local authority to carry out an assessment of your needs to find out if you’re eligible for support. Read about the eligibility criteria and what the assessment involves.
  • Carer’s credit: if you’re unable to make National Insurance payments because you can’t work due to caring responsibilities, carer’s credit it designed to make sure there are no gaps in your National Insurance record and therefore your entitlement to the state pension. It’s not means tested. Find out about eligibility and how to claim it.

Katharine House Hospice