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Innovative Online Support Launched for Unpaid Carers in Wiltshire

A new online support service called Carer Friendly Wiltshire has launched for anyone living in Wiltshire who is supporting a friend or family member on a regular basis, regardless of whether or not they are officially recognised as a carer.

Published 31 May 2024

The new Carer Friendly Wiltshire (opens new window) online support service, provided by Forward Carers CIC, is dedicated to anyone living in Wiltshire who is supporting a friend or family member on a regular basis, regardless of whether or not they are officially recognised as a carer.

With a real-time chat function available 24/7 and the option to book a call with a Carer Coach for support during their caring journey, this new online support service is accessible to carers of all ages, with age-appropriate resources available to carers as young as 10 years old through to adulthood. Carers can access their Carer ID Card, helpful video content, events calendar, free and confidential benefits calculator and join regular virtual support groups. Innovative online resources and tools enable carers to carry out their own online wellbeing check, self-help plan, and contingency plan to ensure all aspects of their caring responsibilities have been considered and support is in place to help carers continue to provide support for as long as they need to, avoiding the worry of burn out.

Wiltshire Council, in collaboration with BSW Integrated Care Board, announced their partnership with Forward Carers CIC to provide this new initiative that will complement existing support services offered by Carers Together Wiltshire and Community First. It provides additional resources for carers that are available throughout the day and night to best suit their needs, particularly those still in employment or education who might struggle to access services delivered within normal working hours.

Cllr Jane Davies, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: "We want our unpaid carers to feel supported to be able to enjoy life and achieve their goals and ambitions while they are caring. We are ensuring the face-to-face support continues but also there will be online help 24/7 so unpaid carers know they are not alone and they have a network to reach out to." 

Carers in Wiltshire will continue to receive a Carer Card that will now be issued by Forward Carers. The Carer ID Card includes a passport sized photo of the carer, the council's emergency contact details and their own emergency contact. A physical card and a digital download for smartphones are available free of charge to carers who live in the county. 

Simon Fenton, Chief Executive of Forward Carers, said: "We are thrilled to provide online support to unpaid carers in Wiltshire. Carers sometimes care for more than one person and often juggle lots of tasks including work. Young carers also multitask between being a carer and being at school or some other form of education, leaving little time for themselves or to physically reach out for support.

"As all of our support is online, Carers can get support at a time that is convenient for them and have the option of joining an online community of carers to get valuable peer to peer support. Rather than spending time searching for answers, our virtual resources (including toolkits and guides) provide information and advice about caring at the click of a button. We hope our support will make a difference and improve the lives of all Carers living in Wiltshire."

Visit the website: Carer Friendly Wiltshire (opens new window).

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