New service to provide extra help to Oxfordshire’s carers

New service to provide extra help to Oxfordshire’s carers

1:10pm Thursday 31st March 2011

A NEW service to provide better support for many of Oxfordshire’s 60,000 carers goes live tomorrow.

County council social services fear they are in contact with as few as 15 per cent of the tens of thousands of carers in the county, many of whom are desperately in need of help looking after elderly partners and relatives or someone with a physical disability.

The new service, Carers Oxfordshire, is to be run jointly by the county council’s Customer Service Centre and Age UK Oxfordshire.

The charity secured a three year contract, with a budget of £1.3m to run the new service.

Working for adult carers of all ages, Carers Oxfordshire will provide local advice, information, emotional and practical support to people caring for partners or adult relatives with a disability or illness, and connecting them to the growing network of carers’ support groups.

Paul Cann, chief executive of Age UK Oxfordshire, said: “We are excited about this important opportunity.

“Carers are doing an amazing job but are too often paying a heavy price in terms of their own health, working lives, financial services and general wear and tear.

“Whether you are a parent of a young adult with learning difficulties, a partner of someone with a physical disability or an older carer, this service is designed to support you with information, advice, support and the connections that you need to make to have a life.

“Our challenge is to reach the many people in the county who are caring but who do not identify themselves as carers – and thus miss out on services and support.”

John Jackson, county council director of social and community services, said the new service would build on help already available.

He said: “The new service aims to reach more carers in Oxfordshire, while continuing to provide the type of services carers have come to trust and rely on.”

The role of volunteers will, however, remain crucial.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Age UK Oxfordshire on 01235 849407 or giveanhour@ageukoxfordshire. Oxfordshire residents can also donate to Age UK Oxfordshire by joining the Supporters Scheme and pledging £3 a month.

For more details, call Stacey Bowden on 01235 849404.

One Response to New service to provide extra help to Oxfordshire’s carers

  1. graham says:

    A good example of ‘ Partnership ‘ between a Local Authority & a Charity ( Age UK ) & that is what we need to see more of. With an ageing population & falling tax revenues this has to be the future. A budget of £1.3m & a three year contract is significant & many Local Authorities could learn from this instead of just complaining about their lot.

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