Spotlight on Carers - January 2022

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January 2022: Spotlight on Carers

Walthom Forest

This newsletter is for everyone working with children and adults in Waltham Forest.

Please share with your colleagues and encourage them to sign up to get it regularly

The role of unpaid carers

An unpaid carer is anyone who cares for a friend or family member who cannot cope without their support, without payment.

The role of carers encompasses a wide variety of tasks that includes practical tasks such as managing a household or finances, personal care such as assistance with washing, dressing personal hygiene and with meals, and emotional support by listening as well as providing social contact, advice and companionship.

The reasons that someone can find themselves increasingly in a caring role can include:

  • Serious physical illness
  • Long-term physical disability
  • Long-term neurological conditions
  • Mental health problems
  • Dementia
  • Addiction 
  • Learning disabilities / difficulties
  • Alcohol / substance misuse

Formal and informal carers are a critical part of the health and social care system both across the UK and here in Waltham Forest. Approximately 10% of people in Waltham Forest are carers, however most are not registered as carers with their local GP, DWP or the Council.

In addition, Waltham Forest CCG (2015) estimate that there are more than 26,000 unpaid carers (sometimes called ‘family’ carers) in Waltham Forest alone, and that more than 5,000 of those are providing more than fifty hours a week of unpaid care. 

Young carers

Young carers are children who look after a friend or family member. Someone under 18 who cares for another person - picks up mum’s prescription, dresses dad, takes their little sister to school. Life is demanding. But they still have to study for exams, look after themselves, and not lose sight of their dreams.

Their extra responsibilities often mean they miss out on school and hanging out with friends. It can side-line their whole childhood.

  • 955 - the estimated number of young carers living in Waltham Forest (ONS)
  • 800,000 young carers aged 5-17 care for an adult or family member in the UK
  • 27% of young carers aged 11-15 miss or have difficulties at school due to their caring responsibilities
  • 39% said nobody in their school was even aware of their caring responsibilities
  • 1 in 3 young carers have a mental health issue
  • 80% of young carers felt more isolated during the pandemic

In Waltham Forest, identified young carers are supported through Early Help 0-18 and Children’s Social Care. The Council has a dedicated Young Carers Project who provide direct and targeted support to identified young carers and their families.

This includes:

  • Focused Covid family support
  • Access to clubs with transport assistance
  • Holiday activities and trips
  • Support in schools
  • Tuition support
  • Training and workshop
  • Package of care
  • Duke of Edinburgh

Contact Young Carers Team

Consultation related to carers

The Council in partnership with the NHS and Carers First are undertaking research to help better understand support available to unpaid adult carers, particularly if something unexpected happens, and replacement care is required.

Frontline practitioners and managers are invited to complete this survey:

Carers Consultation Survey


Email with questions or comments

Support for carers: workshop for practitioners and managers

A training session has been co-developed by Waltham Forest Council and Carers First. Designed to inform council, health and community practitioners and managers about services and support that are available to carers in Waltham Forest.

The session will cover:

  • Carer’s strategy (overview)
  • Universal offer
  • Young carers
  • Adult carers
  • Parent carers
  • Q&A session

Date: Wednesday 23 February 2022

Time: 9.30am – 11.30am

Platform: Zoom

Sign up to Practitioner workshop

Carers First: we care for you

Carers First supports unpaid carers, aged 18 and over, supporting someone in Waltham Forest, helping with online help and advice, as well as 1-2-1 practical and emotional support.

Carers First provides the following free support for unpaid adult carers across Waltham Forest:

  • Health and wellbeing sessions
  • Caring confidently programme
  • Working carers group
  • Money advice session
  • Education, employment and training session
  • Former carer groups
  • Peer support
  • Virtual wellbeing
  • Carers First Facebook Community group

Refer someone to Carers First

Family Covid Resilience programme for young carers

The Council has launched a new programme that will provide focused and targeted whole family support for young carers and their families.

The programme is designed and geared to support and assist families who have identified young carers, and have been impacted by Covid and long-Covid.

Waltham Forest is committed to support identified families for a period of 12 weeks (3 months) and provide whole family/ holistic targeted support to help families overcome barriers and challenges that has surfaced as direct result of Covid and long-Covid.

Email to find out more or refer

In other news...

Upcoming training and events - last few spaces available to book!

On 8 Feb 2022 at 9:30am:

Managing Allegations Against People Working with Children


Become a substance misuse champion:

Change Grow Live (CGL), Waltham Forest's drug & alcohol treatment service, is looking for candidates to become Substance Misuse (SM) Champions.

If you have a real passion and interest in helping to improve the lives of those impacted by substance misuse and want to get involved in supporting new initiatives to improve treatment pathways, why not lend your experience and join the forum?

The SM champions meet on the first Monday of every month at 1.30pm for approximately an hour via Microsoft Teams.

Email Tiana Allen for information

This newsletter is brought to you by the Strategic Partnership Boards, which is made up of Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children’s Board, Safeguarding Adults Board, Health & Wellbeing Board and SafetyNet (our Community Safety Partnership).

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