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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.

Early support allows 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.

Carer Aware e-Learning

Portsmouth City Council Carers Service, Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth University Hospitals have worked collaboratively to develop this e-learning to provide a consistent approach across health and social care and third Sector services to promote early identification, assessment and support of carers and their families.  The Carer Aware e-learning aims to provide a clear understanding of the circumstances and challenges facing carers, and to ensure health and social care services provide good pathways to support.

Access the Carer Aware e-Learning here:


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

At Portsmouth Carers Centre, we will start with a conversation to understand carer’s situation and help them to work out what type of support might help. Carers often find it useful to get information and advice, support to have a break or just to have a listening ear. Then if we have enough information we will complete a carers assessment and support plan.

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

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 team is based at:

Somerstown Family Hub,
Omega Street,

You may contact them by phone on 023 9268 8499 or email

Young carers can be referred to the young carers team by the completion of the referral form available from Young Carers team. This can be done by professionals or parents.

Young carers team offers weekly activities as well as half term and summer activities giving young people an opportunity to meet other young people in similar situation and have a break from caring.

Parent carers

Portsmouth Carers Centre supports parents of children with additional needs. The child does not have to have a formal diagnosis or educational plan for parent carers to be referred to the service.

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 good place to start searching for services is Portsmouth Local Offer website where parent carers will find information on services available in Portsmouth area.

Sitting service

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.

When care is shared among family members

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.