Story of Carers FIRST

Carers FIRST was established as a project within Tonbridge VCS in 1991, by Carers who wanted to help others in a similar situation.

In 1996 Carers FIRST took on charity status and became a registered not for profit organisation, number 1085430 and company limited by guarantee.

In 2009 Carers FIRST became the parent company of Medway Carers Centre, a charity set up in 1991 by Carers, some of whom remain on the Board of Trustees today. The two charities merged fully in April 2013.

By 2013, Carers FIRST were supporting over 5,000 Carers across South West Kent, North West Kent and Medway, providing information and support to carers of people who cannot manage by themselves through ill health, frailty, disability, mental health or substance misuse.Originally a member of the Princes Royal Trust for Carers, Carers FIRST is now a network partner of Carers Trust (a merger between PRTC and Crossroads Care).

2016 was an exciting year for Carers FIRST. Marking the charity's Silver Jubilee, Carers FIRST grew in these 12 months both it's services and geographical reach.  In January 2016, Carers FIRST became the parent company of Crossroads Care Medway, another network partner of Carers Trust, who provide respite care to those living in the Medway area. The two charities will be fully merged by 1st April that year.

In June that year, Carers FIRST were successful in being awarded the contract by Lincolnshire County Council to deliver services, to carers across the entire county and Carers FIRST were also awarded the contract by Waltham Forest Council to deliver services to carers across the diverse London Borough which started in October.

The charity continues to grow from strength to strength and in 2018 started to provide services to carers in the London Borough of Haringey and a county wide service in Essex.

Today, Carers FIRST supports over 23,500 Carers aged 5-105 and their families, providing emotional and practical support, advice, information and guidance.