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Carers Rights Day supporters

Thousands of carers locally could be missing out on key rights and support

Care for the Carers, the East Sussex carers centre, is encouraging all carers to understand their rights, as part of the national Carers Rights Day, this Thursday 23 November 2023. Cally Emerson writes.

A carer is anyone who looks after someone who couldn’t manage without their help. This could be a friend, family member or neighbour who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction could not cope without your support. Two out of three of us will become a carer at some point in our lives. It can happen at any time and to anyone, and it has a huge impact on a person’s life.

73% of people who care for someone don’t know they are a carer, and as a result 46% miss out on essential financial support and 36% on practical support. This can include key rights such as flexible working, being consulted on hospital discharge, being identified as a carer by your GP and the right to a Carers Assessment and Carers Allowance.

Anyone over the age of 18 who looks after someone on a regular basis, is entitled to have a Carers Assessment. This looks at the care you provide and how this affects your life, and importantly, tells you about the support available to you.

There are thousands of carers in the county who are missing out on these rights, because they don’t know they are available to them.

Mary, local carer who cares for her son

Mary is a local carer who has her own health issues and has been caring for her son for 25 years. She had cared for her daughter also, but she very sadly died last year. Mary’s son’s mental health condition means that she has to be available most of the time for emotional and practical support. This of course has an effect on Mary’s own wellbeing, “I realised how anxious I am. I’m on tenterhooks all the time I’m at home.”

Earlier this year, Mary spoke to a Carer Support Worker at Care for the Carers, who was reviewing her Carers Assessment. She was asked about her caring role, what she was having to do to support her son, and what impact it was having on her. “During the conversation, I became aware of how much I do. It really opened my eyes and I realised that I spend a lot of time waiting around in case I’m needed, and that is very stressful. It is very tiring but it’s not his fault.

“I came away feeling very affirmed in my role. I am very apt to think, ‘I don’t do very much, why does it make me so tired?’  I expect many carers feel like that!  It was very valuable to me to feel validated and positive.”

Mary was told about support that was available to her from social services, (“…that I didn’t know about”, she added) and was able to apply for a Carers Personal Budget, which provided her with funds which will mean she can start swimming again, an activity that has been great for Mary’s wellbeing in the past.

Jennifer Twist, Chief Executive of Care for the Carers says: “You may be new to caring for someone, or may have been a carer for years – we are here to offer support to everyone. We want carers to know that they are not alone, that they have rights and that there is help available. On 23 November we are asking everyone in East Sussex to help raise awareness of Carers Rights Day and spread the word, so that no one is left to care alone.”

Care for the Carers supports carers across East Sussex. Services offered include carers groups and activities.

To support Carers Rights Day you can download social media posts or a poster from the Care for the Carers website at and use the hashtags #CarersRightsDay and #carersupport, to help spread the word!

If you care for someone who could not manage without your help, and you’d like to know more about support available and your rights as a carer, call Care for the Carers on 01323 732390 or visit

About Care for the Carers

Care for the Carers is the Carers Centre for East Sussex and an independent charity supporting carers across the county. A carer is anyone who looks after someone who could not do without their support; there are thousands of carers across the county.

The charity is commissioned to provide services to carers by East Sussex County Council and the NHS.

The charity provides free practical and emotional advice to carers and a range of services. Services include referrals to other local services, outreach support, one-to-one crisis help and guidance, coaching, training, wellbeing and support groups, activities and counselling. They strive to create carer friendly communities and peer support opportunities across East Sussex.

Their work ensures that no one is left to care alone. Further information is available at:, by phoning 01323 738390 or emailing

Carers’ Rights Day

Carers’ Rights Day is an annual national campaign led by Carers UK.

Carers’ Rights Day brings organisations across the UK together to help carers in their local community find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to.

Carers Trust Adult Carer Survey Report 2023

Data taken from Carers Trust Adult Carers Survey report 2023. The Carers Trust works to transform the lives of unpaid carers. It partners with its network of local carer organisations to provide funding and support, deliver innovative and evidence-based programmes and raise awareness and influence policy.​ Care for the Carers is a network partner of Carers Trust.

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Posted 15:14 Monday, Nov 20, 2023 In: Campaigns

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