A carer is anyone who cares unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support.

According to the 2011 Census there are over 17,500 carers in Portsmouth, and according to Carers UK, a 30% turnover - which means 5,500 Portsmouth residents take on caring responsibilities every year.

It is important for carers to be referred to The Carers Centre as soon as possible, as it allows us to support them in their journey and caring role, and delay in receiving support may cause possible crisis situation.

Also, early support enables carers to stay in employment and prevents financial difficulties. Very often carers minimise impact caring has on their life and wellbeing- they may not be coping as well as it may seem. Emotional support, carers breaks and peer support have positive effect on carers' mental health.

Research proves that early carer support minimises financial impact on services and user reliance on health and social care.

  • to learn more about carers please complete the e-learning course Carer aware

The responsibility for providing carers services varies geographically. In some areas it is undertaken by local authority in others it may be voluntary sector or mixture of both.

However carers can contact any carers centre for information and advice.

Further information on the support available to carers in Portsmouth can be found below.

          If the cared for person you look after lives PO1-PO6 (carer may live beyond the boundary) please contact 
Portsmouth Carers Centre

If the cared for person lives in PO7 and beyond (the carer may live in Portsmouth), in Hampshire support is provided by Hampshire County Council. For contact numbers and other information please check Carers and family support at Hantsweb.


There is no formal referral process.


At a carer's request you, as a professional, may contact the Carers Centre on their behalf referring them by phone, email or in person. You need to provide us with the carer's name and number to contact and ideally, the cared for person's name and address. The Carers Centre staff will follow this up and contact the carer directly.

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.

  • please visit the main carers page for further information on young carers and the support available to them

Young carers need to be referred to the young carers project by the completion of the young carers referral form (available to download below). This can be done by professionals or parents.

The Carer Self Assessment is carer's chance to tell us about their support needs as a carer and the things that they think will help.

The Carers Self Assessment is a short questionnaire about the care they provide, and the support they currently receive.

From 1 October 2015 the Carers Centre will be assessing carers' needs using the initial Carers Self- Assessment followed by the FACE Resource Allocation System. It is a new way of assessing carer's needs and allocating resources.

From the information gathered, we are able to assess how The Carers Centre is able to support the carer in their caring role.  The support we can offer varies and is based on individual needs and eligibility.

The Carers Centre leaflet and Carers Self Assessment form are available to print from the documents section below.

Portsmouth has numerous agencies and charities which support parent carers. The Carers Centre works in partnership with those organisations who also offer emotional support, breaks, groups, information right to their specific needs.

The first point of contact for parents is Portsmouth Parent Voice.

Phone them on 07825 185 608, email portsmouthparentvoice@hotmail.com or visit Portsmouth Parent Voice.

The sitting service is provided for carers who live with the person they care for. This may only be arranged in circumstances where the cared for person cannot be left safely alone due to their condition. We are able to provide up to six hours per week depending on circumstances.

Currently this is a free, non-means-tested service.

Carers registered with Portsmouth Carers Centre may access Carers Breaks - non-means-tested funding to enable them to take a break.

The breaks are person-specific to fit individual needs. This might be family day out, gym membership, a pamper day or equipment such as a mountain bike or e-reader which provides them respite, a temporary break and a chance to recharge.

All family members who have a caring role are entitled to a carers assessment and access the services provided for carers.

For example - several generations of a family may support an elderly person with dementia to live at home. The needs of the spouse will inevitably be different to the children and grandchildren, but the impact of caring may be felt across the entire family and we will support all those involved. Therefore it is crucial to be aware of all of those people.

If the cared for person moves to residential/nursing care or supported living the carer may still access the advice and support and attend carers groups, but cannot access any financial benefits such as the sitting service, breaks fund, cooking sessions or outings funded by the local authority.

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