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Support for Carers

Finding sources of guidance, advice and support for carers in West Berkshire.

On this page:

Caring for an adult

If you care for or support someone with a disability or health problems, you are a carer.

Carers provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner. We provide information and services to improve carers' ability to care and also live a life outside this role.

Caring for a person with a disability going into hospital

If you care for someone with a disability who is going into hospital, there is helpful information and downloadable easy read leaflets on the Royal Berkshire Hospital website.  For advice or assistance, contact the Learning Disability Liaison Nurse on 0118 322 8159 or 07879 425 803.

Hampshire Hospitals also has information for people with learning disabilities, and the Rethink website has a useful guide for carers about going into hospital with a mental illness.


Carers Week 10-16 June 2024

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. It also helps people who don't think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and access much-needed support.

This year's theme is called 'Putting Carers on the Map'. Further information and free events can be found on The West Berkshire Directory - Carers Week 2024 Events page.


Carer support services

West Berkshire Council grant-funds the following voluntary organisations to provide specific support and services to carers:


Reading and West Berkshire Carers Partnership 

The Reading and West Berkshire Carers Partnership provide a Carers Hub for family carers in Reading and West Berkshire. The partnership members Age UK Berkshire and CommuniCare work with the carers of residents in West Berkshire. 

The Partnership provide information and advice to unpaid carers to help support their physical and emotional wellbeing and are able to advise on financial help (such as grants, benefits and discounts) and rights in employment. They also signpost to a host of other relevant services.

To access support from the Reading and West Berkshire Carers Partnership, please complete the Icon for doc Reading and West Berkshire Carers Partnership Referral Form [50KB]  or:

Contact: 0118 959 4242, or email, or visit the carers partnership website or the age UK website.

Or call 0118 926 3941, or email, or visit the CommuniCare website.


Crossroads Care Oxfordshire and West Berkshire

Crossroads offer support for carers which includes:

  • the provision of transport for doctor, hospital or other appointments
  • a Rapid Response Service providing care in emergencies - help is provided to all ages, regardless of disability
  • a trained carer to stay with someone at home while the carer has a break to go shopping or pursue a hobby
  • self-funded packages of care (care is assessed on an individual basis to suit the care needs)
  • a service for children with a disability
  • 'Forget Me Nots' respite breaks, offered to people living with dementia or a disability, on Saturdays fortnightly at The Phoenix Resource Centre - Call 01635 30008 or email for details.

Crossroads Care West Berkshire operates an emergency out of hours telephone helpline that's available to all carers in West Berkshire on 07867 673063

This operates from 8pm to 8am on weekdays and all weekend.

During normal office hours contact details are: Newbury office 01635 30008 or 07789700194 and Regional office 01865 260280.

Help for carers from West Berkshire Council

If you provide unpaid care to someone who is over the age of 18, you may be eligible for support and can ask for a carer's assessment.

If you're not eligible, we will still provide information and advice, and put you in touch with other services and support groups that may be able to help you.

Adult carers that look after someone who lives within West Berkshire can request a carer's assessment by:

The Reading and West Berkshire Carers Partnership can provide support for carers to complete this 'Understanding your Needs' form. If you would like further information please complete the Icon for doc Reading and West Berkshire Carers Partnership Referral Form [50KB]  or contact the Partnership.


What is a carer's assessment?

A carer's assessment is a series of questions designed to help you think about the different ways that caring affects your life. If you're willing and able to continue caring for the person you look after, we will take account of the support you provide when we work out what services they need. This will help us work out if you're eligible for carer support funded by West Berkshire Council.  At present carers are not required to make a contribution for support services, and do not need to have a financial assessment.  Funding could be in the form of a one-off Carers Grant or a Direct Payment which are designed to support carers in different aspects of their lives, and to help ease some of the extra pressures arising from their caring role.

The Care and Support (Eligibility Criteria) Regulations set out a national eligibility threshold for Carers. This means that there's a level of need at which we will offer support. This is set by the government so it's the same wherever you live.

Caring for someone under 18

If you are looking after a child who needs more help than other children of their age because of an illness or disability, you should initially contact the West Berkshire Contact Advice and Assessment Service (CAAS).

Taking a break from caring - replacement/respite care

Caring for someone can be a full-time job and, like any job, you sometimes need to take a break. Being a carer can be emotionally and physically tiring, and it's important to look after your own health and wellbeing. Taking a break from caring is essential, even if it's only for a few hours.

Who pays for respite care?

Respite services from West Berkshire Council are chargeable. The individual who is being cared for, as the recipient of the service, may be charged for respite services depending on their financial assessment.

Carer's emergency card and plan

A small photo ID card carried by carers to alert others to the fact that there may be a dependant person at home in need of help, should you become unwell or involved in an accident.

To find out more and how to apply for a card, contact: 0118 959 4242, email or 0118 926 3941, email

The Reading and West Berkshire Carers Partnership will also support the development of a Carers Emergency Plan. Carers UK provide examples of what to consider as part of this plan.

West Berkshire carers information booklet

There are a wide range of other organisations that provide information, advice and guidance to support you in your role as a carer. These can be found in the Icon for pdf Information for Carers Booklet [2MB] . We can post you a copy on request. The booklet also contains information for carers about emergency plans, assistive technology, respite, working while caring, training for carers, and financial support.


Finding further information

The West Berkshire Directory lists organisations that can support you in your caring role.

GOV.UK, the public services website, has detailed information for carers about money matters, covering a wide range of topics including Carers Allowance, Carers Credits for the state pension, and Council Tax reduction.

Read our Icon for pdf Ten Tips for Carers [472KB]  leaflet for information to support your wellbeing as a carer.


Caring for others survey

This national survey takes place every other year and is conducted by Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs).

The survey seeks the opinions of carers aged 18 or over, caring for a person aged 18 or over, on a number of topics that are considered to be indicative of a balanced life alongside their unpaid caring role.

National results can be found in the Personal Social Services Survey of Adult Carers in England 2021-22. Local results are in Icon for pdf Caring for Others Survey 2021-2022 Results for West Berkshire [691KB]

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