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A carer is anyone who supports a family member, friend or neighbour, in an unpaid capacity where that person could not cope without that support.

Caring for someone can have a significant impact on your life. The Carers Service is here to support you with any needs that might arise as a result of looking after someone.

Am I a carer?

If you are unsure if you are a carer, answering the following question may help:

Do you support someone who would not be able to cope on their own without your help?

If the answer is yes, or they would struggle, you are a carer.

Many carers do not recognise their role as caring. They think about themselves just as a parent, a son/daughter, a husband/ wife, a brother/sister, a friend or a neighbour, but they provide help beyond everyday care and support.

Carers often do things like helping with:

  • medication
  • financial matters
  • shopping
  • tasks around the home
  • giving emotional support
  • keeping someone safe
  • attending medical appointments
  • being available in case of emergency
  • personal care and much more.

So if those statements apply to you get in touch with  Portsmouth Carers Centre.


We’ve teamed up with Carers UK to give carers access to a wide range of digital tools and essential resources that may help make your caring situation easier.

Create an account here at
Using your free access code: DGTL1973

Visit our Carers Centre page to find out about the support we offer to carers in Portsmouth, or read below for additional information.

If you prefer to think through your situation and needs instead of, or before speaking to someone you can fill out this self-assessment.

Support groups

Support groups are a great way to meet new people, who may be experiencing, or have experienced, similar situations to you. They are also a good way to gain information about other services which are available, which may be able to support you in your situation.

There are many support groups: some of them are for carers only, some groups offer support for carers and the person they look after.

See the full groups list here.

Support for Employers

Employers for Carers Digital Resource Small businesses of up to 250 employees can access free resources to help you support and retain carers in your workplace.

The EFC digital resources provide information and eLearning to support organisations and managers who have working carers in their workforce or team.

Visit: and use our membership code: EFC1973 to create your own account

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.

Young carers can attend weekly activities as well as half term and summer activities which gives them an opportunity to meet other young people in a similar situation and have a break from caring.

Holiday activities include:

  • trips
  • swimming
  • cinema
  • playzone
  • adventure playground
  • games
  • cooking
  • bowling
  • theatre and more!

Young carers can be referred to the young carers project by completing the young carer’s referral form. This can be done by professionals or parents.

You can find more details on young carers and referral form on our young carers page.

The Young Carers Team is based at:

Somerstown Family Hub,
Omega Street,

You can contact them by phone on 023 9268 8499 or via e-mail

Money matters

The benefits system can be confusing and when you are a carer, completing long and complex forms can be the last thing you want to do.

If you need help with money matters or benefit forms you can contact your housing office (if you are a council or housing association tenant), Advice Portsmouth, Age UK, DIAL or Citizens Advice. They can help you complete benefit forms, look into maximising your income and debt management, they will also find out if you might qualify for any reductions, grants or other financial help.

You will find more detailed information on money advice services in Portsmouth on Money advice page

Other sources of support:

Emergency planning for carers

The emergency planning process means that if anything happens to a carer, actions are taken by the relevant agencies to ensure that the person they care for is safe.

An emergency plan is an invaluable process to have in place, to give you, the carer, more control over your situation, and give you some peace of mind.

How it works

  • As a carer, you receive a card with a database reference number written by us
  • You write your name on the card, and who will be called in case of emergency
  • If there is no one available to help, include the number for Adult Social Care instead

We encourage you to keep the emergency card with you at all times – for more information or to get a card please call us on 023 9285 1864.

Legislation and carers strategy

The Care Act came into effect on 1 April 2015 and consolidates 60 years of social care legislation.

The Children and Families Act 2014 increases rights for Young and Parent carers to an assessment.

“The Care Bill in many respects marks a quiet revolution in our attitudes towards, and expectations of, carers. At last, carers will be given the same recognition, respect and parity of esteem with those they support.

“Historically, many carers have felt that their roles and their own well-being have been undervalued and under-supported. Now we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to be truly acknowledged and valued as expert partners in care.” Dame Philippa Russell, Chair of Standing Commission on Carers

The first local carers strategy was launched in 2011. The 2015 Portsmouth Carers Strategy  follows the four priorities of the National Carers Strategy Action Plan:

  1. Identification and recognition
  2. Realising and releasing potential
  3. A life alongside caring
  4. Supporting carers to stay healthy

The local carers strategy includes Portsmouth Carers Voice, where carers can influence local services – more information is available below.

Portsmouth Carers Voice

Portsmouth Carers Voice began life as the Carers Council in 2011. Made up of Portsmouth people who are all carers, the group works as the ‘voice of the carer’ with an understanding of the real issues because of their experience in a caring role.

Many issues affect all types of carers but Portsmouth Carers Voice responds to trends, not single issues, and feeds them into the  Carers strategy executive board which comprises senior staff who can make a difference, drawn from Portsmouth City Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Solent NHS Trust, Portsmouth Hospital Trusts (QA hospital) plus senior staff from the Carers Centre and Adult Mental Health.

Portsmouth Carers Voice feeds back the findings to carers as well as monitoring the progress (or otherwise) of these trends for as long as necessary. To continue and improve upon our past successes the Portsmouth Carers Voice needs more carers to participate, informing us of any issues that affect them and the people they care for.

Portsmouth Carers Voice holds regular forum meetings, and carers are invited to attend to talk openly about issues that concern them.

Support outside of Portsmouth

If you’re a carer, where to get support depends on where the person you look after lives – not where you live.

In Hampshire support for carers is provided by Hampshire County Council, so follow the link for their Carers support page to find out more.

You may also visit Andover Mind, Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Hampshire and Carers Together for more information for carers like support groups, emergency planning, carers breaks etc.

If the person you support is under a different local authority, please search their local council website for information on carers.

Further information