Help get carers connected to their communities

This carers week (June 10th to 16th), Kent County Council is urging everyone to support carers in getting the practical, financial and emotional help they need.

A carer is anyone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member who has a disability, mental or physical illness, substance misuse problems or needs extra help as they age.

Carers can be of all ages. For some, the role can come on suddenly as a result of accident or the birth of a disabled child. For others, caring responsibilities can grow gradually over time.

At the last census in 2011, Kent had more than 151,000 carers, around 10% of the population. This number is expected to rise to 171,000 by 2020.

While caring can be a rewarding experience, carers face various health inequalities as a result of their responsibilities, such as emotional and mental health problems. Looking after a relative can particularly impact on young carers’ education, health and development.

KCC and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups recognise it is vital to support carers and jointly invest in services providing practical and emotional support.

This includes short breaks, in which carers’ dependents are looked after to give them time to go to health appointments, reconnect to family and look after their own wellbeing. There are also direct payments to spend on things which make caring easier.

People can also become Shared Lives Hosts, opening up their homes to adults with learning, physical disabilities or other impairments. They can provide vital support for unpaid carers by providing short breaks, day support or long term care.


Children aged between 5 and 18 who care for someone at home are supported by a dedicated service delivered by Imago. This can include 1 to 1 support, respite activities and events and in-school support groups.

This Carers Week, KCC is urging businesses and communities to consider ways in which they could become more accessible to carers. This could include an employer creating carer-friendly policies or a GP practice offering flexible appointment times.

They can also signpost carers who aren’t accessing support to KCC’s website, where they can request an assessment by social services.

Clair Bell, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “Carers Week is an opportunity for us to show our deep appreciation for the wonderful work carers do, without which our modern social care system could not function.

“As our population ages, more and more of us will be called to care for older, seriously ill or disabled loved ones and an ever-growing number of these carers will be children and teenagers.

“Without support, caring can sometimes feel like an isolating and overwhelming experience, therefore it is vital we make Kent a more supportive place in which carers can thrive.

“There are many ways businesses, public sector organisations and the public do this, such as offering flexible working hours, creating accessible services or even opening up your home and becoming a Shared Lives host.”

A full list of events is available at:

Monday, June 10:

  • Information event, 10am and 4pm, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford,
  • Imago information event for young carers, 10.30am to 4pm, Larkfield Sainsbury’s, Aylesford
  • Involve Kent information stand, Maidstone Hospital
  • Awareness Day, 10am to 4pm, Sainsbury’s, Dadson Way, Ramsgate

Tuesday, June 11:

  • Carers coffee afternoon, 1.30pm to 3pm, Hextable Heritage Centre, Topics: ‘Meet with other local people who care for a family member or friend and enjoy a cuppa.’
  • Information stand, 11.45am to 2.30pm, Dartford College, Oakfield Lane, Topics: Family carers
  • Information event, 10am and 4pm, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford,

Wednesday, June 12

  • Information stand, 10am to 1pm, Asda Topic: unpaid family carers
  • Information event, 10am and 4pm, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford,
  • Imago information stand, 10.30am to 3.30pm, Sittingbourne Sainsbury’s
  • Carers UK information stand, 10am to 2pm, Co-Inovation Centre, Dover, CT16 1PF

Thursday, June 13

  • Information event, 10am and 4pm, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford,
  • Information stand, 11.45am to 2.30pm Gravesend College, Gravesend
  • Dementia Awareness Event, 9.30am to 1pm, The Oast, Orwell Place, Wateringbury. Topics: How can cognitive stimulation improve symptoms? -How can a hospice help?- What is Power of Attorney

Friday, June 14

  • Information event, 10am and 4pm, Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford
  • Social event for carers, 10am to 12pm, Eynsford & Farningham Dementia Café, Eynsford Villiage Hall, Dartford

Kent County Council has a wide range of Shared Lives hosts around the county ranging from single people to couples and families who have availability to welcome someone into their lives.

A referral from a care/case manager or social worker will be required to be considered for the scheme. To find out more please contact the team through facebook @kentsharedlives, via the website or telephone 03000 412400.

For further information about the Kent County Council Communications Office contact David Gazet on 03000 422589 or email

Visit or for news from Kent County Council.

Notes for journalists

About Carers Week 2019

Carers Week will take place from 10-16 June 2019 across the UK.

Carers Week, established by Carers UK 25 years ago, is an annual awareness campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers. It is also a time of intensive local activity with hundreds of events planned for carers across the UK.


Help get carers connected to their communities was last modified: June 11th, 2019 by KCCpress