Carers and caring

Female carer with elderly woman

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older.

For some, taking on a caring role can be sudden: someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability. For others, caring creeps up unnoticed: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer or your partner’s health gradually worsens.

The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing care day and night.

Caring will touch each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves. Whilst caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also have a damaging impact on a person’s health, finances and relationships.

If you are a carer, please see the information and advice on the Living Well Essex website.

Support for Carers

Supporting Carers in Essex is a group of charities working together to support unpaid carers of all ages across Essex, including Basildon, Brentwood, Billericay and Wickford. Supporting Carers in Essex provides a single contact point for carers and access to consistent support anywhere in Essex. You can contact them here or call 0300 770 80 90.

Supporting Carers in Essex is led by Action for Family Carers

Carers FIRST has been commissioned by Essex County Council to deliver carer support across Essex to unpaid carers aged 18+.

There are Carer Support Advisers working throughout Essex.

Carers FIRST work directly with and for unpaid carers to provide personalised information, advice and support thereby making it easier for them to continue living their lives to the fullest.

Carers FIRST currently run online carer wellbeing groups, activities and events with a safe return to community-based events planned.

“The fact that I am listened to helps boost my confidence – Carers First has given me a voice for which I am grateful”- a carer.

If you are a carer and would like to know more about Carers First, their wellbeing groups or if you need support, please call 0300 303 1555, visit or contact Carers FIRST by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
You can also find the charity on Facebook and Twitter @Carers_FIRST

Please note the Carers First Essex service does not cover Southend and Thurrock.



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