Raising your voices to make carers visible in Southwark - Carer's Week 2020

Raising your voices to make carers visible in Southwark - Carer's Week 2020

The theme for this Carer's Week (8-14 June) is to 'Make Carers Visible'.  

With more than 6.5 million people in the UK currently caring unpaid for a family member or friend who is older, disabled or seriously ill, caring will affect all of us at some point in our lives.  

Yet many people don’t identify themselves as carers – they simply see themselves as spouses, parents, children or friends, meaning that many carers across the UK aren’t connected to vital information and support that can help them with caring. 

This week is all about; raising the profile of unpaid carers, helping people to identify themselves as carers and get the information and support they need. 

You can help by:

  • Visiting the Carer's Week website
  • Checking in on any friends or family you know caring for other people
  • Connect any carers you know to services in their area
  • Share you inspirational stories of carign on social media

Information on Carers 

This experience of carers in Southwark has been captured by Healthwatch Southwark, through their recent research project ‘The Impact of Caring on Unpaid Carers'. It explored unpaid carers’ day-to-day experiences and highlighted their contributions, as well as the challenged faced. Read full summary here.  

Coronavirus pandemic has been especially difficult on unpaid carers, leaving many feeling overwhelmed. The reduced or closed care services mean family members are picking up even more care for older, sick or disabled relatives, which also has an impact on them financially (Carers UK 2020)

Based on finding from the Impact of Caring on Unpaid Carers' research, Healthwatch Southwark have made recommendations on how services can improve: 

  •  Develop the culture and leadership around supporting carers.  

  • Improve communication with carers.  

  • Refresh the Carer Assessment process.  

  • Meet more carers’ support needs through a range of innovative methods (e.g. informal peer support networks, peer groups, training, and flexible counselling).  

  • Continue improving care coordination.  

  • Further investigate the experiences of carers in Southwark, especially those facing inequalities. This also requires further identification of carers by Southwark Council.  


Where can you find support for carers in Southwark? 

Southwark Carers 

Contact Southwark Carers for carer-specific signposting, advice and support. They can also support you in the process of getting a Carer Assessment. 

Southwark Mental Health Carers Forum 

If you care for someone with a mental health condition, join the Southwark Mental Health Carers Forum. The forum meets on the last Friday of every month 4-6pm and offers carers a chance to learn more about mental health services. It is also an opportunity for engagement, involvement and empowerment around how services are doing. Contact Matthew Mckenzie to join. 


Southwark Community Hub 

This is a one-stop shop for support during Covid-19, made up of Southwark Council, the local NHS and GP surgeries, charities and community and volunteer groups. You can get advice and support on a range of issues, including food access, befriending and financial support. 


Healthwatch Southwark 

Find information about dealing with coronavirus as a carer, and links to support from home here on our website. You can also contact us to share feedback or ask for signposting. 


Other useful sources of support

  • Southwark Hub for information and signposting around wellbeing, and a great directory of other services. 

  • Citizens Advice Southwark for advice on benefits, housing, employment and other areas. 

  • Alzheimer's Society which has a national helpline as well as a local advice service. They also usually have a Carers' Group. 

  • Coach 4 Care, a peer-led coaching support service run by St. Christopher's Hospice. 

  •  Age UK Lewisham & Southwark, who are currently only running their handyperson and benefits/housing advice service, but hope to open up more services soon. 

  • Contact your GP to let them know you're a carer. 

Services may be working differently during the Covid-19 pandemic. Please contact them directly to find out. 



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