About Carers First
Carers First is a UK registered charity working with unpaid carers to provide practical information and advice. We understand the challenges unpaid carers face and offer services designed to make it easier for them to continue living their lives to the fullest.
At Carers First, we understand that caring can be hard, but believe getting the right help shouldn’t be.
What is a carer?
A carer is anyone, of any age, who looks after another person who could not manage without them. The care they provide is unpaid. There are no qualifications or criteria that stipulate who is, or isn’t a carer.
Every carer's story is different, yet the issues they face are often similar. Nearly half of carers struggle to balance employment with their caring role, others find it difficult to make time for their own health and wellbeing, and for many the situation can create serious financial difficulties.
There are 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK today, taking care of friends, relatives and loved ones. Nearly half also juggle work and childcare on top. There are many reasons people require care, including; illness, disability, frailty, mental health issues or addiction.
A carer could be a 40 year old man caring for his partner with cancer or a 12 year old child caring for their parent who has suffered an injury.
Why is unpaid care an important issue?
It is not something anyone expects to happen, but unpaid care is an issue that impacts us all. Three in five people in the UK will become a carer at some point in their lifetime. So it is likely that if we aren’t carers ourselves, we know someone who is a carer.
Caring for someone else is emotionally complex. It can be a very rewarding experience yet sometimes leaves people feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and isolated. Caring impacts every aspect of life from finances, to relationships and wellbeing. For young carers it can also affect education and future opportunities.
Each year, unpaid carers save the UK economy £132 billion, an average of £19,336 per carer, but this enormous contribution is often overlooked.
What does Carers First do?
Obtaining relevant information and support can itself be a challenge, but with it, carers can thrive. That is why Carers First offers several avenues for people to get the help they need, when they need it.
Our team provides advice on potential support available, such as the carers allowance and carers assessment. We work with carers to identify the best way forward for them as individuals, and support them with practical information on things like; employment issues, how to access respite, as well as helping to navigate sensitive conversations with GP’s, hospitals and social care professionals.
Our Carers Hub is available daily, offering carers the opportunity to talk with specialised staff about whatever’s on their minds. We also organise fun activities and social groups, supporting carers who may feel isolated or who wish to connect with others in a similar situation.
You can find out more about the history of Carers First here.
Read about Carers First's values here.