Family and friends provide vital support to individuals, who access our services, and we recognise that this role can be demanding, difficult and isolating.
We believe that working in partnership with service users and carers is fundamental to delivering high quality care. As well as providing care and treatment to the person you care for, we are here to support you. If you have a problem or you are worried about something, please talk to a member of staff.
You may be a child or young person (under 18) supporting a parent, brother, sister or grandparent – you are also a young carer.
You may be a parent, sister, brother, grandparent or friend – you are also a carer.
You may need emotional support, which could be talking with someone about the things that worry you, or you may need support with the practical things, such as being given information, attending care meetings, or support to access community organisations.
We’ve put together some information to help you in getting the information and support you may need in providing care.
The group runs on the first Tuesday of every month from 4pm to 5pp on Zoom for carers of CNWL Service users in Westminster.
The group provides an opportunity to link up with experienced carers from the local area, find out about trust initiatives and give feedback of your experience of being supported by the trust. The group is run by two senior so all feedback and suggestions go straight back into the senior management team
Different speakers are invited each month. Previous topics have included medication management, how to maintain fitness, trauma informed care etc
To join the meeting please follow this link
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 978 7876 0712
Being a young carer means looking after a family member who is ill, or helping them by looking after the other members of the family while they can’t. This can be tough.
The Charity YoungMinds suggests some helpful advice for young carers:
Sometimes, being a young carer can get too much to deal with on your own. Talk to your teacher, school nurse, college counsellor or GP if you're having any of these feelings:
- feeling stressed by too much responsibility
- feeling tired
- feeling worried about your relative’s health
- struggling to cope with other people’s moods
- having no time for yourself or your homework
- missing school
- feeling embarrassed about your situation
- being bullied
- experiencing low self-esteem, anxiety, anger or guilt
Looking after yourself
Looking after yourself is important. You might not feel you have time to do this, or you might be so used to taking care of other people that you forget to take care of yourself (we have all done this). But your needs are just as important and you are likely to find your caring role easier if you have some time looking after your own needs too. Here are some ideas about how to do this:
1. Stay connected to other people – don’t suffer alone. See if there is anyone in your family or friendship circle who can help share some of the load with you. Don’t be afraid to let people know if you are finding things tough. No-one expects you to manage this alone.
2. It is important to ask for help for yourself. Did you know you have rights as a carer? To find out what support you can get as a young carer call Carers Direct on 0300 123 1053 or Carers UK on 0808 808 7777. Your family might be able to get financial assistance or you might be able to have support taking time out from your caring role.
YoungMinds provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK who may need emotional support (about any issue, not just caring). All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors. Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus. Texts can be anonymous, but if the volunteer believes you are at immediate risk of harm, they may share your details with people who can provide support.
Text: YM to 85258
Opening times: 24/7
3. Try to eat healthily and stay hydrated. Try to stay active if you can. You’ll find lots of inspiration on the NHS Live Well website, Sport England website and in Good Thinking’s advice about how to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Set yourself small goals and see how it goes. Even going for a short walk can make a difference.
4. Try to get enough sleep if you can, although we know this can be hard. Check out Good Thinking’s advice about sleeping better.
5. Remember you are not alone. There is support out there for you.
You can call Childline on 0800 1111 to talk about anything that might be bothering you, no matter how big or small.
The Mix runs a free helpline for under-25s on 0808 808 4994 or you can chat to their team online.
Other useful websites
- About young adult carers - Carers Trust
- Young Adult Carers (YACs) | Camden Carers (camdencs.org.uk)
- Young Adult Carers – CARERS CENTRE TOWER HAMLETS (ccth.org.uk)
- Services for Young Adult Carers - Richmond Carers Centre
- Young Adult carers (16-25 years) - Centre 33
Looking after your loved one
It is not always easy to deal with health services - systems can be confusing and it can feel hard to get through to people at times. But there are things you can do.
Contact your GP if you’re worried about your health or the health of the person you’re looking after. They should be able to help you.
You might find it helpful to make an emergency plan in case you get ill and can’t look after your relative for a while. In this situation, replacement care can be sorted out for you. Your plan could include contact details for other family members and friends, information about your relative’s GP and pharmacy, details of any medication they take, information about any care and support services they receive and details of any mobility or behavioural challenges. Give some trusted relatives and friends a copy of this plan. Carers UK provides lots more useful advice about writing an emergency plan.
Here is a useful booklet for young carers
Your local authority (council) can often provide support – if you have a social worker or you’re in touch with your local young carers service, contact them. You can also talk to one of your teachers or your school counsellor.
To ask a question or raise a concern about the CNWL service your loved one is using, feel free to call the Patient Feedback and Complaints Service. Even if you are not sure what service you need, they will be happy to try to help you:
Tel: 0300 013 4799