Carers are people of any age who look after a friend or relative who needs support because of:

  • a physical or learning disability
  • mental illness
  • impaired health due to sickness or old age

Someone who is paid to undertake their caring role is not a carer, although some carers may be in receipt of carers allowance or in full time employment. Many carers give up work or reduce their hours of work to care and others in work report an impact of their own physical and emotional health. These services are designed to help you and support you in your everyday life.

See the other pages in this section for information on a range of support and information for carers, or see our draft carers charter [pdf, 22.64KB], and our carers strategy 2012-14 [pdf, 535.44KB]

Adult carers

Advice and support for adult carers who care for the elderly, children with special needs and adults with physical or learning disabilities. 

Parent carers 

There's a range of advice, support and information for parent carers on family rights, grants, education issues, breaks and much more. 

Young carers

Recreational respite, advocacy, a befriending service and therapeutic support to young carers who have caring responsibilities for a relative with a long-term illness or disability.

Respite breaks for carers of adults

If you care for a friend or relative who is an older person, or has a learning or physical disability or suffers a mental health problem, you may be able to access respite care services. 

Advocacy and advice for carers

Provision of advice, counselling and support for those who care for adults or children with special needs. Advocacy on behalf of carers may include raising awareness of carers issues and helping to keep them on the agenda of all relevant agencies, setting out key values and principles for services to carers in the form of a local Carers Charter and improving the quality and increasing the availability of information to carers.

Where you can get help

A range of voluntary sector organisations provide advocacy and advice for carers including

Financial support for carers

Carer's assessment

If you provide regular and substantial care for someone, you can have a carer's assessment  to discuss the help you need.

Hackney carer's card

Carers, aged 18 or over, who provide care for a Hackney resident, of any age, can apply for a Hackney carer's card. Carers will be able to receive discounts on goods in some Hackney retailers and also leisure centres and alternative therapists. 

Help and support for carers


'Personalisation' means making sure that everyone has access to the right information and advice to help them make decisions about care and support. Our guide to Personalisation [pdf, 608.96KB] explains the five main stages to getting the support you need giving you more choice and control regardless whether support is being funded by local authorities or is self-funded. 

Supporting carers into work

If you'd like to combine caring with paid employment, Jobcentre Plus offer financial help and a range of training. Their advisers can talk to you about training, part time work, voluntary work, job search, work trials, self employment, in-work financial help and more. They can also give you a personalised "better off" calculation so you can decide what your best option is.

They can also offer funding for replacement care and childcare costs for interviews and approved training courses. This support will not affect your benefits if you receive any and there's no obligation to do anything else. See advice and support for carers preparing for work if you'd like to know more or contact your local Jobcentre to see an adviser:

  • Dalston Jobcentre - 020 7200 6636
  • Hoxton Jobcentre - 020 7749 7067
  • Hackney Jobcentre - 020 8218 8242

Swim free in Hackney

Swimming is now available free for disabled people and carers at Britannia Leisure CentreClissold Leisure CentreKings Hall Leisure Centre and London Fields Lido.

Please note: carers can swim free independent of the person they are caring for. Proof of eligibility and Terms & Conditions apply. See free swimming for disabled people and carers [pdf, 361.81KB].

Carers' events

Mindfulness-based stress reduction sessions

Free weekly drop-in sessions teaching mindfulness-based stress reduction for carers looking after Hackney residents.

Every Tuesday, 11.30am-1pm, Breathing Space, the London Buddhist Centre, 51 Roman Road, Bethnal Green, E2 0HU. For more information contact Mattias Herbertson (Breathing Space Manager), on 020 8709 9985, Email or visit Breathing Space.

Page updated: 22/11/2018 11:28:26