Letter: Simon Brown, of Carers Matter Norfolk, November 23, 2017

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There are an estimated 100,000 people in Norfolk who care for, unpaid, a friend or family member who, for various reasons, cannot cope without their support.

Caring can have a significant impact on the carer’s physical and emotional health but they are often unaware of their right to support and how to access it.

Tomorrow, Friday, November 24, Carers Matter Norfolk, the newly launched publicly funded support service for unpaid carers, will be out in the community across Norfolk providing information on carers rights, plus advice and support to any carers who need it.

Carers rights include the right to have an assessment, which looks at a carer’s support needs and may mean eligibility for additional financial support; the right to ask for flexible working and to take unpaid time off work in an emergency; the right to receive financial support, such as the Carers Allowance; the right to be heard and receive carer-centred support.

Because of a change in the law in 2015, carers now have the same rights to care and support as the people they’re looking after. In response to the need to meet these new rights and through listening to what matters to carers, Norfolk County Council and the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups have funded a new innovative and carer-led service, Carers Matter Norfolk to provide information, advice and support to the county’s 100,000 carers. Carers can gain information about their rights and the support available to them at Lynn Library, 9am-11am.

For further information about Carers Rights and the support available you can contact the Carers Matter advice line team freephone 0800 083 1148.

A carer is someone who provides unpaid support and care on a regular basis to a relative or friend who, due to frailty, illness or disability, would not be able to live independently without them. Carers are not paid care workers.