Carers First wins new contract supporting unpaid carers in Waltham Forest

The new contract will see Carers First continue to deliver timely information, practical support, financial help, emotional and wellbeing services– as well as connecting local carers in order that they can provide mutual support and enjoy a range of social activities together.

Recent research estimates that there are over 26,000 people in Waltham Forest providing care to friends or relatives. There are many reasons why people require extra support including; illness, disability, frailty, mental health issues or addiction.

With three in five people in the UK expected to become an unpaid carer at some point in their lifetime, the contribution carers make is enormous. Nationally, they save the economy £132billion a year – the cost of a second NHS.

Earle, who lives in the borough and cares for his wife with dementia, explained what Carers First’s support means to him, “I have nothing but praise for what Carers First does. They are a comforting influence when I’m not sure who to talk to, particularly during these awful times.”

Glynis, who cares for her daughter with mental health difficulties said, “I have found Carers First wonderful. They provided support before and during the pandemic and being able to speak with other carers been very helpful.”

Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Carers First said, “As a charity we know that being a carer can be hard, but believe getting the right support shouldn’t be. We have a dedicated and compassionate team who want to make a positive difference in carers lives. We are delighted to be able to continue our work in Waltham Forest, supporting people like Glynis and Earle, and for the opportunity to work more closely with the council, allowing us to reach more carers and deliver the services they need.”

If you are an unpaid carer of a friend or relative and are in need of support or guidance, please call the Carers First helpline on 0300 303 1555 or go to to find out how they can help you.  

Notes to Editors 

About Carers First 

Carers First is a charity which works with, and for unpaid carers providing information, advice and guidance; making it easier for them to continue living their lives to the fullest. The charity is commissioned to deliver Carer Support services by Waltham Forest Council and 6 other local authorities including Essex County Council, Medway Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Newham Council, Hackney Council and Haringey Council.

In order to ensure carers in Waltham Forest have everything they need to fulfil their caring role, our team provides advice on potential support available such as carers allowance and carers assessment. We work with carers to identify the best way forward for them as individuals, and support them with practical and helpful information on employment issues, how to access respite, as well as helping to navigate sensitive conversations with GP’s, hospitals and social care professionals.  Support is provided online, by phone and face to face in the community, in accordance with current Covid guidance. 

About carers 

According to recent research there are over 26,000 unpaid carers in Waltham Forest today, taking care of friends and relatives. Nearly half are also juggling work and childcare. There are many reasons people require care, including; illness, disability, frailty, mental health issues or addiction. Caring can be extremely rewarding but it often leaves carers with little time for themselves and their own wellbeing. 

The Coronavirus pandemic has intensified difficulties - cutting carers off from their usual support networks and leaving many without respite and essential help. For those shielding, even accessing food and medicine has become a struggle.