As parents and carers, we tend to focus on meeting the needs of our children, young people, and family members. This section of the local offer is all about support and information that may be of use to you as carers.
Local support and information for parent carers
Caring Together support carers of all ages such as:
- Carer helpline
- Family carers prescriptions
- Listening ear service
- Counselling service
- Carers magazine and bulletin
- Carer learning opportunities
- Opportunities to share your views
- Transition planning for parent carers of young people approaching 18
- Emergency planning (carers of under 18s)
- What if? contingency plans (carers of over 18s)
- Carers cards to identify you as a carer
- Specific support and advice for parent carers including a carers hub for parent carers of teenagers and young adults with complex needs
- Caring Together learning opportunities for parent carers (PDF, 685KB)
Making Space offer support to carers (including parent carers) of adults (18 – 64) who have a mental health need.
- Peer support
- 1:1 and group support
Pinpoint is Cambridgeshire’s Parent Carer Forum and offers:
- Information, signposting, support
- Peer Support groups
- Information sessions and workshops
- Training sessions
- Seek and share views with the local authority, health, and others
- Volunteering opportunities
- Social Media Channel Facebook Groups - Pinpoint Facebook group
- Pinpoint ADHD/ASD parent groups (Monthly parent groups for parents and carers who have children with ADHD and Autism – with or without a diagnosis)
- For more information, you can visit the website, call 01480 877333, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cambridgeshire County Council's Child and Family Centres offer groups, drop ins, events, activities, advice, courses and support for families with children aged 0-19. As well as our network of Child and Family Centres, we provide activities, groups, events and courses in libraries, churches and other community locations across the county.
Find out more on your local Child and Family Centre Facebook page or call to see what activities and groups are available. All the centres and contact details are available in the Cambridgeshire Online Directory.
The Parent Partnership Service providing Cambridgeshire's SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) offers impartial and confidential information, advice, and support to parents and carers who have a child or young person with special educational needs (SEN) or a disability or have concerns that their child has special educational needs.
SENDIASS can help you with:
- Confidential support and someone to talk to in confidence
- Advice and information about special educational needs
- Independent Support for children, young people, and families as Statements are transferred to EHC Plans
- Preparing for meetings with your child’s school or with professionals who are working with your child
- Information on your rights and responsibilities as a parent, children’s rights, and SEN law and guidance
- Get regular updates about local events and activities and other useful information by signing up to the Special Needs Community Information Point
- Get a SCIP card that can be used as proof that your child/young person has a disability if they need to use facilities for disabled people or need to ask for assistance when out and about
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire covers Cambridgeshire and works together with Healthwatch Peterborough as part of the same organization.
- Healthwatch purpose is to understand the needs, experiences, and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to speak out on their behalf
- They share information, give general advice, and can help with finding services
- Healthwatch run a Carers Partnership board for all age carers of adults and children
Little Miracles is a charity that supports families that have children with additional needs, disabilities, and life-limiting conditions.
- A place to play, laugh and create friendships
- Access to advice, support, and care
- Reduce this isolation
- Ensure that families get the support that they need to support their families fully
- Activities and Family Support Workers
- Support the whole family including parents, carers, the child with additional needs as well as the siblings and any family can receive support even before they receive the formal diagnosis
- Little Miracles can support parents who apply for Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independent Payments
The use of Assistive Technology can support independence and safety for people of all ages as well as providing reassurance and support to carers and family members.
The TEC team can, where appropriate, loan assistive technology to people. You can contact them yourself to find out more and request a referral.
Contact details and more about Cambridgeshire County Council's TEC Team.
Cambridgeshire Online Directory
Carers can find lots more community services and support by searching Cambridgeshire’s directory.
Keep your Head have an online directory of a wide range of activities, groups, places to go, things going on in your area as well as services that can help with connecting with others, emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health Support Services for Adults.
How Are You? – wellbeing activities and information
- Local networks and information about a range of activities, groups, support opportunities, informal and informal to support with well being
- Bringing together everything in the local community that is good for mental wellbeing
- Use the links below to find things near you
- For most of the things you don’t have to live in the area to get involved so do browse a bit further afield if you wish
How Are You (H.A.Y) Peterborough (haypeterborough.co.uk)
How Are You (H.A.Y) Fenland (hayfenland.co.uk)
How Are You (H.A.Y) South Cambs (haysouthcambs.co.uk)
How Are You (H.A.Y) East Cambs (hayeastcambs.co.uk)
How Are You (H.A.Y) Cambridge (haycambridge.co.uk)
How Are You (H.A.Y) Hunts (hayhunts.co.uk)
Healthy You is a free service for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough residents who are looking to make changes to their lifestyle. So, whether you want help to stop smoking, lead a more active lifestyle, lose some weight, or simply take advantage of the NHS Health Checks we offer, Healthy You, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council can help.
Cost of living help
We have a webpage on support with the cost of living.
The Department of Work & Pensions website has the up to date information about benefits including:
- Benefits and financial support for families - GOV.UK
- Benefits and financial support if you're caring for someone - GOV.UK
- Information about Benefits Calculators that will help you explore what you may be entitled to
National Insurance Credits for Carers
If you care for someone over 16 years old for more than 20 hours a week you may be entitled to National Insurance (NI) credits. Find out eligibility, how much you could get and how to claim on the GOV.UK Carers Credit webpage.
Support and Advice about Finances and Benefits
Your Jobcentre Plus work coach can tell you about support you can get to help you combine work with looking after children or caring responsibilities.
Making Money Count are partnership projects working in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and can offer support and advice about money, bills and debt, benefits and other financial matters.
Cambridgeshire’s Local Assistance Scheme (CLAS)
Cambridgeshire’s Local Assistance Scheme (CLAS) provides a frontline safety net to those individuals and families facing unexpected financial difficulties and hardship. The scheme provides information, advice and discretionary assistance that enables eligible families and individuals to improve their immediate financial position; cope and better support themselves and use relevant resources to succeed in the long term. This could include access to low cost re-used and refurbished household items, clothing and food vouchers.
Household Support Fund
- The Cambridgeshire Household Support Fund is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.
- The Fund has been created to help people experiencing immediate financial hardship to pay for food, household energy or other essential items.
Benefits advice and information
There are information sheets about benefits for people of all ages, including about changes that happen as children become adults, and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) - which are updated on a regular basis.
Our Welfare Benefits Advice Team will be able to answer any questions you have about benefits and can assist with filling in benefit application forms. They offer this advice and support to adults, those supporting adults and to parents and carers of children. They can be contacted on 01353 612926.
Disability Cambridgeshire and Disability Huntingdonshire (DISH) provide information and advice on benefits to people of all ages.
Turn2Us are a national charity who provide information and support to help you get back on track.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau can offer advice and practical support too.
The Cambridge Money Advice Centre can help and have self-help materials available online.
Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space
If you are receiving mental health crisis treatment, Breathing Space can help take the pressure off of debts and repayments. An Approved Mental Health Practitioner can provide evidence of debts to a debt advice provider.
The debt advice provider will try to establish (as far as possible) which debts you have, and whether they are eligible for the scheme, before including them in a Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (MHCBS).
To find out more ask your mental health practitioner.
More information about Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space (Gov.UK)
Disability Energy Support
Scope offer free energy and water advice to any disabled person or household where 1 or more disabled people live. There is a range of info about grants, support, benefits, dealing with energy debt, energy saving info and joining the Priority Services Register. They also offer individual advice consultations.
Grants from the Family Fund for families raising disabled children
DfE has provided a further £10 million to the Family Fund which is a UK-wide charity that provides grants for essential items to families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children.
Families can apply for grants for a wide variety of items that they feel could help their disabled child and ease some of the everyday pressures they face. These can include kitchen appliances, computers and tablets, furniture, family breaks and day trips, sensory toys, clothing and bedding, and more. Family Fund cannot consider requests where a statutory agency has assessed a need and have a responsibility to provide the item.
Families who have previously received a grant from Family Fund before 1 April 2020 and whose circumstances have not changed can re-apply for further funding after 15 months. If your circumstances change you may be able to reapply sooner so it is worth checking on the Family Fund website.
Grants and financial support for children with life limiting conditions
EACH (East Anglian Children’s Hospice) have information about finance, grants and legal information.
Carers UK online support
- We’ve teamed up with Carers UK to give carers in our area access to a wide range of digital tools and essential resources that may help make their caring situation easier.
- eLearning to help you to build strategies to support wellbeing and the impact of stress
- Wide range of topics covered include nutrition, building resilience, working and caring
- How to cope with experiencing loss
- Create an account at the Carers UK website using the free access code: DGTL3385
- The Carers UK website also has general information and advice
Contact – for families with disabled children (aged 0 – 25)
Contact are a national organisation who offer a range of information, advice and support to parents and carers of disabled children and young people.
- Info and advice
- Benefits and money, family life, relationships, work, childcare
- Listening ear service
- Workshops and events
- Info about preparing for adulthood
- Help line 0808 808 3555
You can find more information about support for carers of someone who is over 18 on our adults Looking after someone - support for carers webpage.
Mobilise provide a range of free online services to support you in your caring role. These include a face book community group, virtual cuppas, a Carer support team available from 8am – 10pm every day for bookable support calls or on line chats, a range of information and useful guides, lots of ‘real life’ tips and ideas from fellow carers and a free course for carers.
You can use any of this support even if you are getting support elsewhere as well.
Support for unpaid carers in Cambridgeshire (mobiliseonline.co.uk)
Local support for young carers and young adult carers
Centre 33 support Young Carers up to the age of 18 across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
- A Young Carers needs assessment
- Information, advice and support
- Opportunities to meet up with other Young Carers
- One to one support
- Groups in primary and secondary schools and other places across Cambridgeshire
- Regular activities and events
- Support during transitions such as changing schools, starting college and independent living
- Centre 33 also provide information, support and advice to young people around other things like housing, food, sexual health, money, jobs , benefits and emotional support.
Centre 33s Young Carer's Service provides group support to young people aged 18 and under who are living with a family member with an eating disorder.
Contact Centre 33 for more information.
Phone: 0333 4141 809
Text and WhatsApp: 07498 312776
Caring Together provide support to young carers and young adult carers including:
- Opportunities to meet and spend time with other young carers
- Activities and breaks from caring
- Support to spend quality time with your sibling
- Supporting schools and colleges to become carer friendly
- Find out more at the website, by calling 0345 241 0954 or email email@example.com