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Local charity Carers First is delighted to have been recommissioned to provide the carer support services in Essex, alongside Action for Family Carers, on behalf of Essex County Council.

The new, five-year contract started on 1 April 2024 and will continue to provide a trusted and highly regarded service for local carers. Services will continue uninterrupted for those already receiving support.

There will be continued development and enhancement of services offered to carers across Essex. A key focal point of the new offer is a central online contact point for carers run by the Essex Wellbeing Service. People can also call 0303 303 9988 to discuss their caring role and receive information, advice and guidance tailored to their needs.

Through collaborative working, the newly commissioned service will be able to identify, reach and support more carers in Essex. Carers First will be supporting carers in Mid and South Essex, and Action for Family Carers will be supporting carers in North and West Essex.

Caring is not something anyone expects to happen, but unpaid care is an issue that impacts us all. Two in three people in the UK will become a carer at some point in their lifetime. There are an estimated 124,442 carers in Essex, according to the most recent Census (Office for National Statistics, Census 2021). However, many more people may not identify as, or even realise they are a carer, this results in a high proportion of carers who go without support.  

Lisa, from Essex, cares for her twin sons, aged nine, who have been diagnosed with learning difficulties. Lisa has found managing their different needs challenging.

“Managing this day to day and catering to different needs 24/7 can be exhausting. I don’t sleep well either, they tend to wake up several times throughout the night, so my sleep is broken and I become even more tired in the day.

“Add all this together and it becomes so mentally draining. Especially as I care for them by myself, I have to make decisions for them alone which puts a lot of pressure on me.”

However, she has been able to achieve more balance in his caring role since receiving help from Carers First.

“I got in touch with Carers First and spoke to a Carer Support Adviser, who has been an absolute saving grace. It’s just great to have someone around who totally understands what I’m going through and supports me, even if it’s just for a quick chat over the phone.”

Alison Taylor Chief Executive of Carers First

Carers First is thrilled to be able to continue supporting carers in Essex. We are looking forward to working with Action for Family Carers to ensure carers across Essex get the help and support they need. We understand that caring can be challenging but believe getting the help you need shouldn’t be. We will be continuing our work in raising awareness of the amazing role of carers, as well as delivering a range of support programmes designed with, and for, carers.

Councillor John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said:

“Whether you identify as a carer or simply see yourself as helping a partner, parent or friend, we are committed to supporting you.

“Our new five-year offer will make it easier for unpaid carers across the county to access support and guidance. It will also see more local projects and initiatives to support carers in their communities too.

“Unpaid carers make a real difference to not only the people they care for but to local communities and public services too. It is only right that we give them the support they need and deserve.”

For more information on support available to carers in Essex, visit our local page

Online Help and Advice

Visit our online support section where we have provided advice and guidance on a range of relevant topics to help you in your caring role.

Online support