Copyright 2019 - The Ark Trust Ltd

Carers Rights Day

Today is Carers’ Rights Day, when thousands of organisations across the country help carers to find out about and understand their rights and what support they can access. The event is led by Carers UK and supported by carers’ charities and organisations, big and small.

Carers make an enormous contribution to our health and care system and to our society, and the selfless way that millions of carers provide care and support of all kinds to their friends and relatives deserves special appreciation. Since the implementation of the Care Act in 2015, carers have more rights than ever before. The Act gave carers parity with the people they care for through new entitlements to an assessment of their needs, support to meet their eligible needs, and information and advice. We know there is much to do to embed good practice and raise awareness of carers’ rights, and make sure carers know where to go for help and feel able to ask for it. That is what Carers’ Rights Day is all about.


Looking after someone? Know your rights
Most of us will provide care at some point in our lives to ill or disabled loved ones. Whether caring affects your family gradually or suddenly, it is common to feel unprepared. Rules on benefits and the social care system can feel like a confusing maze. Without the right advice and information, it is easy to miss out on the financial and practical support you are entitled to. That’s why organisations up and down the country take part in Carers Rights Day, to reach out to the UK’s 6.5 million carers with information, advice and support. Here is a taster, with the top three steps everyone who is looking after a disabled, ill or older loved one should take to find out about their entitlements.


1. Get a benefits check
Carer’s Allowance is the main carers’ benefit – offering a small income now and National Insurance contributions towards your State Pension if you have given up work to care. But not everyone is eligible for the benefit, so make sure you get a full benefits check to see what other financial support you may be entitled to. Other support might include council tax discounts (but not in Northern Ireland, tax credits or help with fuel costs. For information on the financial support available, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you live in Bracknell Forest or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you live in the Borough of Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead or visit the Turn2us website ( or ring your local Citizens Advice Bureau.


2. Find out about practical support
You may need practical support to help you care, like short breaks, equipment to help make caring easier or information about local groups that can help. All carers are entitled to a carer’s assessment from their local council which could lead to them, or the person they are caring for, getting social care services to help with caring. The assessment will look at how caring affects your life, including your physical, mental and emotional needs, and whether you are able or willing to carry on caring. Contact your local council/trust social services department for a carer’s assessment or visit for more information.


3.Carers and Employment rights
Working parents of children with disabilities (under the age of 18) have the right to request flexible working arrangements. You also have a statutory right to ask your employer for flexible working if you care for an adult who is a relative or lives at the same address as you.


4. Connect with other carers
Caring can be isolating. When we’re looking after someone, it’s not always easy to find people who really know what caring is like and are able to give us help and understanding. There are carer support groups across the UK that can help you meet other carers, as well as access local advice and support. Signal4Carers website has a directory of local services at




Grants for Respite

Berkshire Community Foundation said "The Ark Trust received a £5,000 grant for SIGNAL4Carers to allow unpaid carers respite from their duties. SIGNAL provides free Support, Information, Guidance, Networking, Advice and Learning to all unpaid carers who care for someone in Bracknell Forest, Windsor, Ascot or Maidenhead.

A carer is someone who provides unpaid help and support to family or friends. You could be caring for a partner, child, relative, friend or a neighbour who is ill, frail, disabled or who has mental health or substance misuse problems; anyone can become a carer at any age. The carers could apply for grants of up to £300 to be spent how they felt best to achieve a break and have time for themselves. So far 14 people have received grants. Some have taken a short break whilst others have booked a regular activity."

Our thanks to Berkshire Community Foundation for enabling us to be able to distribute this money to unpaid carers. The quotes in the article linked below highlight the value having a break from caring can bring to people, we look forward to working with them again in the future.

Read more.

Meditation group

Relax, sit comfortably, learn techniques to increase happiness, reduce stress, enhance focus, achieve calmness.

The aim of this group is to help the community with mental physical health needs.

They only charge a donation, but if this is a barrier for you please let them know.

Every Monday 9.30am - 10.30am (term-time) at Trax (North Ascot Youth Centre) Mill Ride,Ascot, Berks, SL5 8JW.

Contact: Marie O'Brien 07766 503581 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Session flyer

Rotary Club Community Christmas Lunch

Maidenhead Thames Rotary Club cordially invites you to their Community Christmas Lunch.

Sunday 9th December 2018
Holiday Inn, Maidenhead SL6 2RA

Arrive at 12 pm for reception drink

Traditional Christmas lunch at 12.30 pm

Entertainment & fun, we hope Santa will make an appearance.

Close at 2.30 pm

No transportation can be provided

Places are on a first come, first served basis

RSVP : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please also advise of any dietary requirements

Grateful thanks to the Holiday Inn management & staff for the provision of facilities and festive lunch.

Voluntary Car Schemes

Voluntary car schemes are available for residents to use across The Royal Borough, see this list of services.

They are usually run by volunteers and volunteer drivers will take people to health appointments such as visits to hospital or their GP. They are often cheaper to use than a taxi, generally they are well used so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Support | Information | Guidance | Networking | Advice | Learning

newToCaring    noticeboard    newsletters    Support Groups    usefulContacts