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Caring for family and friends

If you look after anyone who because of illness or disability needs support and cannot manage without help then you are recognised in law as a carer. Many people at some point in their lives become a carer even though they may have other responsibilities. If you are a carer we may be able to provide you with help and support. 

You will find information about how to ask for an assessment and what the process involves for you and the person you care for. You can also find out about what benefits you may be entitled to that can help you fulfil your caring role. There are also many details of many national and local support groups and organisations that can offer you help, advice and information. Find out how to take a break from caring and also what happens if you are unable to care for someone unexpectedly. 

Carers assessments and services

You have the right to ask the Council’s Social Care service to assess your own needs for support to continue caring. To request a carers assessment please call: 

For carers of an adult: 0113 222 4401 
For carers of a child: 0113 222 4403 

Many carers find this is more helpful if it takes place away from the person they care for and they can really express themselves about the stresses and strains of caring and an appointment would be made for the carer to meet a social worker for the assessment. ​Other carers are happy to talk about what help they need at the same time as a community care assessment is being carried out for services to the person they care for. The carer’s assessment is about helping carers to continue caring, not about whether you are a good carer or not. The way in which Social Care can support a carer is often through providing more or different care and support services to the cared for person, in which case there has to be a community care assessment of them, and they have to be willing to accept care services.​​​​​​ ​​

Where to go for help and advice

1. The NHS Carers direct website has a large amount of information about rights and entitlements.

A link to the website is provided in the External links section on this page. Or you can call the Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053 for confidential information and advice for carers. 
Lines are open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays), 11am to 4pm at weekends. Request a free call back or an interpreted call back in one of more than 170 languages including ربي, বাংলা, 中文, Français, ગુજરાતી, Polski, Português, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Soomaali, Español, Türkçe and .اردو.   You can talk to an adviser live online or send a query by email.

2. There is now ONE single point of access to help and support for all adult carers in Leeds:-
The Carers Leeds service can be contacted by phone, email, home visit or by dropping in to the city centr​e base.  Carers Leeds is based at:  6-8, The Headrow, Leeds LS2 6PT.  Tel:  0113 380 4300 (10am to 4pm Monday to Friday). Email info@carersleeds.org.uk.  There is a self referral form on their website. A link is available in the External links section on this page
  • Up to date general information, advice and a listening ear for all family carers.  Including advice on benefits and financial matters
  • Specialist carers support workers for people looking after a person with mental ill-health, dementia,  substance misusers, parent-carers of children with special needs 
  • Carers support groups in locations across the District
  • Information and training sessions on a wide range of topics relating to looking after someone
  • Social events
  • Well-being sessions
  • Volunteer befriending scheme  
The service is open for drop-in callers on Tuesday to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm, or by appointment on Thursdays 3.30 to 6pm.

Young carers

​​​The Willows Young Carers Support service (Barnardos Yorkshire) is for any young person aged 5 to 17 years who is looking after someone with a physical illness, disability or mental health problem or is affected by that persons care or health issues, including sibling young carers. 

They provide advice and help to ensure that the child or young person is able to enjoy and achieve all the activities, educational and social goals of childhood.  They are based at The HOST Media Centre, Saville Mount, Leeds LS7 3HZ and can be contacted on 0113 2622851 or by email: willow.youngcarers@barnardos.org.uk
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Help in a carers emergency situation

​​If you are worried about what would happen if something unexpected happened that meant you were unable to care there is a special scheme called the Carers Emergency Service which can replace the family carer for up to 48 hours.​ For example, if you were admitted to hospital in an emergency, or if your car broke down and you were delayed home. 

The service is provided by Housing 21 which is a CQC registered personal care agency. To join the scheme tel: 0303 123 1921. Or email: cesregistrations@housing21.co.uk