Who Are We?
Many thanks to all the Carers and people from other organisations who came to our AGM on Tuesday 19th September, 68 attendees in total which was great, it means so much to us to feel supported as we try to continue to provide the service to Carers in East Surrey you tell us you want. Following the loss of our longstanding funding from Surrey County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) this April we are trying to adjust to the need to raise funds independently. This is a new challenge for us and sometimes feels a little uncomfortable, but we hope you understand that we need to ensure our long term existence to continue our work for you. Special thanks to Eileen ( and her amazing dog Icarus) from Canine Partners, and Claire Robertson from Dementia First for giving us talks about their work, as well as the Stroke Association, the Brigitte Trust, Family Voice, Homestart, East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Age UK, and First Community Health. Our friends at Waitrose, who we are also grateful to for nominating us as their green button charity in Horley this month, supplied some extra sandwiches at no cost.
In November 2016 Surrey Count Council awarded Action for Carers the contract to provide support to Carers across Surrey, previously held for East Surrey by us. Our staff and Trustees believed that our work should continue to give carers in East Surrey a choice in how they are supported. At an extraordinary meeting on 13th Feb 2017 chaired by Sir Lyndon Jones members voted unanimously to support the proposal that
"EAST SURREY CARERS SUPPORT ASSOCIATION REMAINS AS AN INDEPENDENT COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE WITH CHARITABLE STATUS OFFERING CARERS THE SERVICES AS PER OUR CURRENT MEMORANDUM AND ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION".
So from April 2017 our funding will no longer be from Surrey County Council but via direct funding using our reserves and fundraising.
We will continue to offer monthly support groups, social events and outings for carers, help with benefits, training emotional support and advice, home visits and information about other organisations offering the help you may need, including Action for Carers. We can help explain who people are and how they may be able to help you, including social care teams in the community and in hospitals, care agencies, care homes, dementia day care and residential care. We aim to be unbiased and non judgemental, helping provide the information you need to make the best decisions for yourselves and the people you are supporting.
We will also help with practical issues such as information and assistance in applying for benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance (AA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and of course Carers Allowance. If you are caring for someone on a regular basis then a Carer's assessment could help you. This is your chance to tell social services about things that could make caring a bit easier for you. We can tell you more about this and help you even if you don’t need or choose not to ask social services for help.
You may also qualify for Carer's Credit which is a National Insurance credit that helps carers who don't qualify for Carers Allowance fill gaps in their NI record. You can ring the Carers Allowance office on 0345 608 4321, or ring us on 01883 745057 for more information.