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Carers Support Service
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carers' resource information and support
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Support for You

We offer a range of support services to help carers, most of which are free.

There are also a number of local support groups who you can contact directly. There are also a number of support groups aimed at Parent Carers. Since restarting, some groups may be running differently,  so it is worthwhile contacting organisations before turning up. 


CRISP Carers Centre

Support from our dedicated Carers Support Service. Meet the team here. Get in touch if you need support. Tel: 01202 128787

Carers Information Service

The Carers Information Service supports family/unpaid carers looking after someone who would not be able to manage without their support. Join the Carers Information Service to keep up to date with all the local events, training courses and more.

Carer Friendly ID Card

The Carer Friendly ID Card is provided by Forward Carers and is available for FREE to unpaid Carers who register with our FREE carers information service. The card is also available for existing registered Carers who need to renew an expired carers card. 

The card can be used as a simple way of proving you are a carer when you are out and about, to provide In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact details and to access deals and discounts from on services or goods at businesses displaying the carers card symbol. 

Carers Training

Find our guide to practical skills and learning opportunities for carers online here. If you'd like to receive this in another format, please get in touch. 

Does your GP know you are a carer?

Your GP practice will be able to help you to look after your health better if they know you are caring. A confidential note can be placed on your records that will help your doctor look after your health.

They can also try to support you with convenient appointments that fit in with caring and offer you a free annual flu vaccination.

You can let you GP surgery know you are a carer by downloading this helpful form. Complete the form and hand it to a member of staff at the surgery (such as a receptionist).  Your GP surgery will also have a ‘Carers Lead’ who will happy to support you.

Mentoring and Befriending

PramaLIFE have volunteers looking for carers to befriend. This could be through a regular phone call, e-mail, or meet up, if possible. It is whatever suits you. Someone to share interests or memories with, or to help and support you find something in the community that you could join. The volunteers are of all ages, looking to team up with carers of all ages.

In addition to the befriending scheme, PramaLIFE offer a mentoring service. Due to Coronavirus restrictions on our lives, there are many more people becoming carers. For those new to caring, PramaLIFE offer mentoring from trained volunteers who have been carers, who can help and guide new carers, including when and where to look for help in the future.

If you are interested in finding out more, contact PramaLIFE on Tel: 01202 207300 or view their leaflet here.

Carers Assist

Free assistive technology for 'peace of mind' at home.

Home Safely

A bracelet for people with Dementia which helps the emergency services to contact the carer. Home Safely is free to join. For more information, please contact BCP Lifeline on 03301 233 293.

Young Carers 

Young carers are children and young people who often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult. You can find find more information about support here.

Valuing Carers in Dorset 

We have worked with local carers across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset, and other statutory organisation to develop a Strategic Vision called Valuing Carers in Dorset.  This sets out what carers think is important for us to focus on, up to 2020


Swan Advocacy help carers secure their rights, represent their views, and obtain services they need. Tel: 03333 447928

Looking after family or friends after they leave hospital

If you are caring for someone who has returned from hospital and needs ongoing care or support with day-to-day life, you may find reading this leaflet on the GOV.UK website helpful.

Online Learning with The Recovery Education Centre

The Recovery Education Centre is a jointly delivered by Dorset HealthCare and Dorset Mental Health Forum. 

They co-develop and deliver courses focusing on recovery, wellbeing and shared learning. 

They have developed a programme of online learning opportunities. Find out more here

Online Learning with the Red Cross

The Red Cross are providing free Digital Learning Sessions to support people with the first aid skills to help them in an emergency and also to help build resilience and coping skills. Find out more here.

Free online Learning with The Open University

You can learn FREE online with Open Learn, provided by The Open University. 

They also have a course is designed to give an insight into the demands, both physically and mentally, of the caring role and look at how taking part in physical activity can offer benefits to the health and wellbeing of carers. Find out more online here.  

Older male carers 

In conjunction with a group of older male carers, Bournemouth University Public Involvement in Education and Research group and Healthwatch Dorset, we have produced the 'Older male carers - A guide for older male carers written by older male carers' booklet.

Caring for someone living with Dementia 

Dementia Discussions Toolkit

The City and Hackney Carers Centre have shared their free Dementia Discussions toolkit. There is a question and answer series and a toolkit with practical information and advice. You can find out more information here. 

Staying Steady and Independent with Dementia.

Sheffield City Council have produced a helpful booklet around staying steady and independent with Dementia. Read it online here.

Help and Care Dementia Coordinator Service 

Help and Care’s Dementia Coordinator Service provides post-diagnostic support for people with a diagnosis of dementia, their families and carers. This includes dedicated Early Onset Dementia support and more general information on dementia with signposting to local agencies.


Steps 2 Wellbeing is a free, confidential NHS service for anyone aged 18+ who is registered at a GP surgery in Dorset (including Bournemouth and Poole) and in Southampton. They offer a range of different types of treatment for people experiencing problems with low mood/depression, anxiety or stress. Some of the problems they can help with include:

  • depression and low mood
  • anxiety (including social anxiety and generalised anxiety)
  • obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • specific phobias
  • panic disorder
  • stress.

They provide support either over the telephone, face-to-face, in groups or via the internet. The use of language or British Sign Language interpreters can be arranged if required.
You can self-refer to their service, or get your GP or another healthcare professional to refer you. Find out more on their website here.

Know your rights 

Carers need to know their rights wherever they are in their caring journey. For Carers Rights Day (2022) a summary sheet was created to help empower you with information and support, so you can feel confident asking for what you need. You can find a copy of that summary sheet here.

BCP Handyvan Service

The Handyvan Service provides practical and useful help to those living in their own homes to maintain their independence. From general household tasks to small repair jobs. All staff are police checked.

You only need to supply or pay for the cost of any materials used, and the labour charge is free. Repair jobs need to be completed within 2 hours to qualify. Repairs can include replacing light bulbs & fuses, repairing or installing grab rails, hanging curtains, tracks or rails, moving small items of furniture, repairs or clearing to pathways and much more. 

The service can be provided to those living in Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole, who are aged 60 or who have a disability or long term health condition, and who are receipt in certain benefits.

For more information, phone 01202 942331 or email

Adult Social Care Information 

The BCP Council webite provides information and advice about social care and support services for adults in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. It is a great place to find help, get advice and plan future care for yourself or a loved one. 

Information about Adult Social Care is available in factsheets here

The service provider directory provides a wide range of solutions to help you or a loved one live safe and independently at home. 

For more information, unless otherwise stated in the descriptions above, please get in touch.


Organisations Supporting Carers in Dorset

The Dorset Carers Partnership Group (DCPG) is a group of organisations working in partnership to work together to support carers across Dorset. You can find their end of year report here. They will continue to work together to support you. 


When caring comes to an end

Looking after someone is a huge part of life, but it is inevitable that your caring role may change over time. You may not be able to look after the person you care for at home, or there may be a time when you have to think about life after the death of the person you cared for. Whatever the circumstances, our 'When caring comes to an end' booklet may help.

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