Engaging with carers

A carer is someone of any age who supports a relative, partner, friend or neighbour, who due to physical or mental illness, disability, frailty or addiction could not manage without that support.

Carers are absolutely vital and play a leading role in supporting our communities. Young Carers are carers under the age of 18 who support someone with their care needs on a regular basis.

Caring is an issue which faces all of us. Changing demographics and an ageing population mean that 3 in 5 people will end up caring for someone at some point in their lives. The number of carers in the UK is set to grow from 6 million to 9 million in the next 30 years. This is an issue none of us can afford to ignore and we should all embrace and make sure our services meet the needs of carers.

Carer’s Action Group Meeting –  24 November at 10am

If you are a Carer in Doncaster and you would like to join the Carer’s Action Group Meeting you are very welcome to do so via Zoom. The next meeting takes place on Tuesday 24 November at 10am – 12 noon.  Join Zoom Meeting – click here    Meeting ID: 917 1292 9416   Passcode: 8tyYj7

New – short video guides for Carers

A series of short videos guides from the Health and Care Video Library, including information for carers, is available here

Care Quality Commission (CQC) – Involving people and caring for carers, how primary care practices can support carers

Primary care practices can support carers through the CQC’s Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE 2) for healthcare services best practice examples, which are available on the CQC website here  Examples include screening for carers, identifying a Carers Co-ordinator at the local practice and providing support for socially isolated carers.

NHS England and NHS Improvement – Supporting carers in general practice: a framework of quality markers

This document offers a series of practical ideas that have been developed in partnership with carers, primary care teams and other key stakeholders. Collectively, these provide a framework for improving how general practice can better identify and support carers of all ages. You can download the report here

The Children’s Society – resources for healthcare professionals and GPs

This website includes resources for those working in healthcare to support young carers, including tools and a helpful toolkit. Details available here

13 Videos for Carers (Families, Staff, Friends, Advocates) of People with Learning Disabilities – List with Links

Thanks to NHS Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for sharing this resources with us. This list includes a number of films which you may find helpful as a carer for someone with learning disabilities. It includes everything from how to deal with anxiety caused by coronavirus, to simple Mindfulness techniques. You can download further details here

Macmillan Cancer Support  –  Top 10 Tips for Primary Care

Macmillan Cancer Support has produced a handy ‘Top 10 Tips’ for people working in Primary Care to help them support the 1.1 million carers of people with cancer. Macmillan Cancer Support defines a carer as someone who looks after a person with cancer who could not manage without this help. You can download these Top 10 Tips here

Royal College of General Practitioners – How GPs can support Carers

Details from the RCGP website, including training for practice staff are available here

NHS Support and Information

The NHS includes a wide range of information and support for carers on its website here  The NHS also provides information for commissioners of health and care services to help them commission services which meet the needs carers here

Employers for carers – free support from Carers UK

Knowing who is a carer is the first step to being able to support them and organisations can sign up for free support through the employers for carers website here, run by Carers UK. Good businesses need good people. In the current economic climate and the Coronavirus pandemic, there has never been a more important time to focus on the benefits of retaining skilled workers, and support from employers for carers can help do this.

Doncaster Council – Coronavirus Information for Parents and Carers

Details from the council website are available here

Doncaster Carers Reach Out Service

Latest information regarding carer cards is available here

Doncaster Council – Community Hub

The Hub can help with:

  • Delivery of emergency food
  • Collection and delivery of medication
  • Regular check-ins with people who are isolated
  • Signpost and support to others who can help including local volunteers

Details of how the Community Hub can help you when you have no-one else to support you are available here

Healthwatch Doncaster

Details about support for local people available through Healthwatch Doncaster is available on the website here, including how to feedback experience of accessing GP services during the Coronavirus pandemic here

Doncaster Age UK – support for older people

Details of the support available from Age UK Doncaster can be found here

Carers UK – Support for Carers

Carers UK has launched support for carers including a telephone helpline, further details are available here

You can find out about your rights as a carer here and also download their comprehensive guide for Carers, called ‘Looking after someone’ here

Government guidance on Covid-19 and supported living and home care

Further details are available here

Doncaster Council launches Social Care Academy to fill vital social care roles in response to Coronavirus

Further details including how to apply are available here

Top tips to help you to look after your mental health

It’s understandable to feel stressed, anxious or worried at the moment, so we’ve prepared some top tips to help you to look after your mental health.

If you are feeling anxious then this is what you should do:

  • Focus on managing the anxiety rather than trying to get rid of it
  • Follow health guidance given as fully as possible
  • Talk about emotions and try not to push them away – they tend to come back stronger if you do
  • Try to focus on what is happening now rather than what could happen in the future
  • Take time to do enjoyable activity including exercise
  • Drink plenty of water and try to maintain a balanced diet.

Further information and support for carers is available from the mental health charity Mind here


Take breaks from news and social media

The amount of content regarding coronavirus can be overwhelming, frightening and a lot of the time misleading. Try to limit the time you spend on social media as the virus is the main focus and being bombarded by posts about it can lead to anxiety and depression. If possible mute articles and posts around the virus and stick to reputable sources of information. When checking on the news, try to set this at a specific time of day and stick to it so that you aren’t constantly inundated with the same topic.

Wash your hands – but not excessively

Try to recognise the function behind your hand washing and cleanliness behaviours. Ask yourself am I washing or cleaning for the recommended amount of time to reduce the risk infection – or is this behaviour happening ritualistically in a specific order until it ‘feels right’?

Stay connected with people

Try to arrange regular check-in times with friends and family.

Try to ensure that you maintain positive routines but also set yourself goals to get variety in your life. Groundhog day will set in and it is a good time to try complete those household tasks and goals you’ve been putting off.

Avoid burnout

Make time to relax and unwind. Mindfulness techniques can be useful to remain in the present moment. Try to notice when your thoughts are spiralling and ground yourself in the moment by focusing on things around you. What can I see, hear, touch around me right now. Use this to remind yourself that ‘in this present moment I am safe’.

Take care of your physical health

Regular exercise is recommended, deep breathing and stretches can also aid in de-stressing. Try to ensure that you maintain a good routine regarding your eating and sleeping habits. It can be tempting to eat easy meals and junk food but eating well balanced healthy meals will help in managing your mood as well. Get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.

For more details visit the RDaSH website here

There is also a range of resources to help you with your health on the RDaSH  Engagement HUB.

Need professional help with your mental health?

Need help with anxiety? Please get in touch with the Talking Shop and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Teams:

Doncaster Talking Shop – 01302 565650.

Anyone with a long term condition can call RDaSH’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Long Term Conditions Team on 01302 379563 or reach them via the Single Point of Access Team on 01302 566999.

Urgent mental  health need? 

If you need urgent mental health help the RDaSH Crisis Team is here to help you.

Doncaster Tel: 0800 804 8999

Voluntary sector and other support

You can call The Samaritans free of charge on 116 123.

Doncaster – Rethink helpline – 0808 801 0442

Safe Space, a support service for people experiencing mental health crisis in Intake can be accessed by calling 01302 566999

Doncaster Council and a range of organisations in Doncaster, including Doncaster CGG are committed to providing help and support for carers in their daily life by recognising what’s important.

A Doncaster Carers charter has been published along with partnership commitments as to how we will work together to support carers in Doncaster.

For Carers Week 2019 we supported a wide range of activities that took place across Doncaster.

Carers breaks: new guidance and videos

A new resource produced by the Social Care Institute for Excellence and Carers UK, includes evidence-based guidance and almost 30 the examples of practice.

The guidance is accompanied by videos of carers giving advice to other carers on the importance of taking breaks.

The short video below provides really important and useful information for all carers on the importance of taking a break and the opportunities available to help with this

Young Carers

A short animation produced by NHS England provides an insight into the lives of young carers and hopefully encourage young carers to seek support.

The video is intended to raise awareness of the challenges and issues faced by young carers. Further information can be found on Doncaster Council’s website and a short blog by local GP and NHS Doncaster CCG Clinical Chair, Dr David Crichton.

Boloh – the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic family Covid-19 Helpline

Welcome to Boloh, The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic family Covid-19 Helpline (Barnardo’s COVID-19 helpline and webchat for those 11+). In many languages, Boloh means speak. We are encouraging Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic children, young people and families affected by Covid-19 to speak to us: about their worries, their problems and their stresses during this time. Between Monday and Friday, 1pm and 8pm, we will provide emotional support, advice and signposting to other organisations who can provide further help.

Speak to us

We are available to talk Mon-Fri, from 1pm-8pm.

If you have been affected by the pandemic and you need someone to talk to or advice, you can contact one of our specialist support advisors to talk about it, Mon-Fri between 1pm-8pm.

If you prefer to have a chat with the specialist support advisor, you can do this via the live webchat by clicking on the icon on the bottom right on our website here

As well as children and young people, we also invite parents and carers to contact the helpline on 0800 1512605 or talk to us on webchat if they require advice on how to support their child or young person they are caring for. Professionals can make contact to discuss how to support a child or young person they are working with.

Our staff can talk to you in English, Urdu or Hindi.

Healthwatch Support for Young Carers

You can download the Top 4 Tips on how to support Young Carers here

GPs urged to keep register of carers and offer double appointments

GP On-line article including how to support young carers is available here