Carers can be in a range of roles from caring for a friend or someone in their family who has a disability or a long term health condition, to providing care for someone who has mental health or substance misuse issues. A carer can also be a parent or other adult caring for their child or young person with additional or special educational needs (parent carer).
As they continue to provide care they may also have concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on themselves or the person they are looking after.
Local charity Carer Support Wiltshire and independent organisation Wiltshire Parent Carer Council have produced the latest information and advice and are posting regular updates on social media and their websites so people don't feel isolated and can access the right information and support.
For those who cannot access information online, they can call or email Carer Support Wiltshire (0800 181 4118 Monday to Thursday 0930 to 1630 and Friday 0930 to 1600) or the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (Tel: 01225 764647 Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org anytime).
There is online support including Frequently Asked Questions and a wealth of support targeted at different age groups:
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said:
"Carers are selflessly looking after others and this can be demanding work at any time. We want carers to know there is support and advice out there and they don't have to do it all alone. I'd recommend carers take time to have a look at the information available and if they need further help they can get in touch."
Stuart Hall, Strategic Director of WPCC said:
"We appreciate that these are extremely difficult, challenging and anxious times for many, and most certainly for parent carers of children and young people with SEND. The WPCC will do all it can to provide information and support, while following official guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England.
"We continuing to operate our telephone helpline and email support to respond to enquiries, and offer support and signposting as best we can. To make it easier to find relevant information for parent carers of children and young people with additional needs relating to COVID-19, we are distributing a COVID-19 weekly newsletter to any parent carer registered with us, and have dedicated sections on our website providing information, advice, guidance, updates and resources to support parent carers during these most challenging times. We are particularly aware of the impact social isolation will have on parent carers and we are doing all we can to make the most of technology to provide support."
Wiltshire Council has also launched the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub to support vulnerable residents during the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The team offer support and signposting to additional help in your local area. People can get in touch with the hub via email or by calling 0300 003 4576. It's available from 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday.