Support, information and advice for carers

Useful places to go for information and advice to support you in your caring role.

Carers' rights and the Care Act

A carer is someone who helps another person, usually a relative or friend, in their day-to-day life. This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally or through a voluntary organisation. The Care Act 2014 sets out carers' legal rights to assessment and support. It came into force in April 2015.

The Care Act relates mostly to adult carers - people aged 18 and over who are caring for another adult. This is because young carers (aged under 18) and adults who care for disabled children can be assessed and supported under children's law.

However, regulations under the Act allow the government to make rules about looking at family circumstances when assessing an adult's need for care, which means, for example, making sure the position of a young carer within a family is not overlooked.

Carers UK has a number of factsheets to explain the Care Act and how it affects carers.

Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) support groups

You may find it useful to speak to people in your own community.

Third Tuesday of every month from 1pm to 3pm (except for August and December) at Carers Centre, 334 Heathway, Dagenham, RM190 8NJ.

The BAME support group is run by Carers of Barking and Dagenham for Asian, Arabic, Turkish and African French speaking carers.

Contact: Carers Support Worker of Barking and Dagenham on 020 8593 4422

BAME carers and service users support group

Every Thursday from 11am to 1pm at St Margaret's Centre, The Broadway Barking IG11 8AS.

The group is run by a BME Support Officer working for the council to provide support, information and advice and the opportunity to share ideas with others in a similar situation.

Contact: social care engagement officer 020 8227 2954

Asian Women Group

Every Friday from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Durga Mandir, 3-9 Norman Road, Ilford IG1 2NQ.

Groups meet to do yoga exercise and socialise with others.

Contact: Kiran Kaushal on 020 8594 2347 or Usha Babla on 020 8591 9357

Other useful organisations

Gurdwara Singh Sabha London East – Sikh Community

100 North Street, Barking IG11 8JD

020 8594 3940 

Barking and Dagenham Somali Women’s Association

Women’s Advisory Centre, 13 London Road, Barking IG11 8AA

020 8594 3730

SCCP - Social Care Community Programme 

40 Argyle Road, Ilford IG11 3BG

020 8554 3377

Carers Direct

This is a free, confidential advice and information service to help you as a carer. You can telephone the Carers Direct support line to speak to somebody about being a carer, or visit the website for information.

Information, advice and support for carers covering:

  • financial and legal advice
  • a guide to caring
  • advice for young carers
  • your wellbeing
  • work and study
  • carer's lives
  • advice on Carer's Allowance
  • a guide to the carer's assessment

0300 123 1053 (9am to 8pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays), 11am to 4pm at weekends, calls are free from UK landlines).

NHS social care and support guide

After caring - getting your career back on track

You may want to return to work once your caring role ends. If you have given up work to become a full-time carer or have not been able to take up paid employment before because of your caring responsibilities, you may want to get your career back on track.

Identifying your skills

You may be unsure of what you want to do, or even what it is that you are capable of doing. It may help to first identify the skills you have. Think of what you have learned from being a carer. As well as paid work, this may include the tasks and responsibilities involved in being a carer such as organising and arranging care support.

Think about any voluntary and community work you may have been involved in and identify any transferable skills you have built up during any job or activity (that you can apply to other jobs).

Jobcentre Plus and the National Careers Service can give you more advice on identifying transferable skills.

If you feel you no longer have the skills you once had, or you'd like to brush up on them, you may be entitled to fully funded vocational skills training including National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), employability, English, maths and ICT. If you are receiving benefits your Jobcentre Plus Work Coach will be able to offer advice, or you can approach your local college directly about accessing training.

Jobs and career information


Many carers' caring responsibilities can prevent them from taking up work, or force them into giving up work in the short or long term.

For carers who may have been out of the workforce for some time, a good way of reintroducing yourself to work, when and if that time arises, is through voluntary work.

All you need to know about volunteering in Barking and Dagenham