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CareLine SPRING 2013

e The Fre r e fo Magazin rers Ca d i a p n U ussex S t s a E in


Information What’s on Advice Carers’ tips News


benefits Supporting Carers in East Sussex

Message from the Chief Executive - Jennifer Twist Welcome to the Spring edition of CareLine, which focuses on carers’ entitlements, benefits and rights. I was delighted to catch up with the many carers who came to the Carers Forum on 5th February, but concerned to hear that people were worried and confused about changes to benefits and services. I hope that the articles in this edition will answer many of the most common queries, but please do call or email us (01323 738390 or if you would like more information or have any questions on topics not covered here.

Carers have also told us how concerned they are about the impact of the government’s austerity measures on the Health and Social Care system, in particular the continued pressure this places on local authority budgets. This winter, with carers, our Board of Trustees and staff team, I have been taking a close look at the services Care for the Carers provides. Our mission is to improve the quality of carers’ lives by helping the local community recognise and value the role of carers, and by enabling carers to have a voice and access the services and support they require. It is so important in the current climate that we are doing everything we can to make the very best use of the resources we have, and to continue to offer the support that you most value. Everything we do, and hope to do, has been set out in a revised Strategic Plan which aims to:

»» Help us to share our work with carers, partners and funders »» Refine our plans and make sure they reflect carers’ needs and wishes »» Raise awareness of carers, and carers’ issues »» Ensure that we always offer high quality services »» Identify and address unmet needs »» Help us to raise much needed funds for carers and carers’ services I would like to thank the carers who are part of our Involvement Network for helping to shape these plans – your input has been crucial in ensuring that we understand the support that carers need now. The final draft will be available on our website in April – please do take a look and let me know your thoughts.

»» Keep us focused on achieving the most important developments

Note from the Editor Welcome to the Spring Edition of CareLine! This issue is jam-packed with as much information about carers benefits that we could fit in; at times they can be confusing (I know I’m baffled! ) so please don’t hesitate contact the office on 01323 7383890 if you need any more information. Careline is the free magazine for all unpaid carers in East Sussex, so please do let me 2

Care for the Carers

know if there is any information you’d like to share with other carers, or topics you’d like us to cover in the next edition. call me on 01323 738390 or email me at I hope you enjoy this edition,

David Thompson

This edition

Hospital News

Update from the NHS about hospital changes in East Sussex

Staying Healthy

News from our partner organisations about how they’re looking after your wellbeing

Carers Rights

Carers In Touch

8 & 14




Carers Trust ambassador for East Sussex announced! Cheryl Butler, Young Carers Manager at Care for the Carers, has been awarded a prestigious Ambassador role as part of Carers Trust’s charity campaign to support fundraising and put the often hidden issue of caring on the map. Cheryl will represent Carers Trust and is amongst the first 50 community Ambassadors



Find out what happened at the last East Sussex Carers Forum

15 - 16




East Sussex Carers Forum

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Businesses across East Sussex are continuing to join the Carers Card scheme, supporting local carers by providing special offers and discounts. The card is available to all carers who have had Carers Assessment (call Adult Social Care on 0345 60 80 191 to request yours). Then take your support plan along to your local library who will issue your card.


The latest news from the groups and new training opportunities for carers


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A quick guide to carers law and your rights as a carer



Look out for the Carers Card window sticker or check out the Carers Card Directory at for special offers in your area and where to use your card. Call us for a copy of the directory.


Everything you need to know about Blind Persons Allowance

East Sussex Carers Card


Update from the Carer Support Team



Carer’s Allowance made simple and how to protect your pension rights


Carers Benefits

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to be appointed across the country. The role was developed to focus on Carers Trust’s 2013 charity of the year partnership with The Co-operative which will raise an estimated £5 million to tackle feelings of isolation and provide desperately needed breaks, information, advice and support for young adult carers. Cheryl said: “I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to be so involved in the charity’s partnership with The Cooperative which will deliver



a step-change in people’s awareness of our cause and raise the money needed to transform young people’s lives.” Laura Vickery, Community Projects Manager at The Cooperative, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Carers Trust during 2013. By working together we can make life changing differences to the lives of thousands of 14-25 year-olds in our communities who undertake unpaid practical and emotional caring responsibilities for a family member or friend who cannot cope without their support.”


Carers Benefits Carer’s Credit, protect your pension rights Carer’s Credit is a way of protecting state pension rights for people who are caring for someone but are not in paid work (or not earning enough to pay National Insurance Contributions) and are unable to claim carers’ allowance. If you already get Carer’s Allowance, or the underlying entitlement, you usually get National Insurance credits and contributions to your Additional State Pension so you don’t need to apply for Carer’s Credit.

Carer’s Credit isn’t a physical payment to you, it’s a National Insurance credit which helps build up your entitlement to the State Pension and makes sure there are no gaps in your National Insurance record . Eligibility To get Carer’s Credit you must be: »» aged 16 or over »» under State Pension age »» looking after one or more people for at least 20 hours a week The person you support must get one of the following: »» Disability Living Allowance, the middle or higher care rate

Contacting your local benefits team For more information about carers’ benefits visit alternatively you could contact your local council’s benefits team. Eastbourne Borough Council Online Email Call 0845 300 6715 Write to Housing Benefits Team Eastbourne Borough Council 1 Grove Road Eastbourne, BN21 4TW


Care for the Carers

»» Attendance Allowance »» Constant Attendance Allowance If the person you’re caring for doesn’t get one of these benefits, you may still be able to get Carer’s Credit. You will need to provide a ‘Care Certificate’ signed by a health or social care professional to confirm that you are providing appropriate care for them. How to claim To claim Carer’s Credit you need to apply to the Carer’s Allowance Unit of the Department for Work and Pensions. Visit or call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0845 6084321.

Hastings Borough Council Online Email Call 01424 451066 Write to Hastings Borough Council Hastings Town Hall Queens Road Hastings, TN34 1QR Lewes District Council Online Email Call 01273 471600 Write to Lewes District Council 4 Fisher Street Lewes BN7 2DQ

For more information or advice contact Care for the Carers call 01323 738390 or email

Carer’s Allowance Made Simple Figures mentioned in this article will be in effect from April 2013. Carers Allowance, worth £59.75 per week, is a non-means tested benefit available to people over 16 who are caring for someone for at least 35 hours per week, whether they live together or not. ‘Caring’ can include emotional support and ‘watching over’ as well as physical assistance. The person you care for must receive: »» Attendance Allowance »» Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate However, not everyone will be eligible for the £59.75 per week as there are some exceptions. You may not get Carer’s Allowance because of the following:

The Earnings Limit You cannot get Carers Allowance if your earnings (after tax & deductions) are over £100 per week.

of £33.30 per week. This means that you could get extra money through Pension Credit, Income Support, Housing and Council Tax Benefit.

The Overlapping Benefits Rule You cannot be paid Carers Allowance if you receive the same amount or more from the following benefits :

Effects on other benefits Finally, people need to be aware of the implications of a payment of Carers Allowance on other benefits. When Carers Allowance is paid, it counts as income for means-tested benefits, as well as generating a carer premium, but it can also remove the more valuable severe disability premium, which may be paid with means-tested benefits to a disabled person who lives on their own.

»» State Pension »» Incapacity Benefit »» Contribution-based Employment & Support Allowance »» Maternity Allowance »» Contribution-based Jobseekers Allowance »» Severe Disablement Allowance »» Unemployability Supplement »» State Training Allowance »» Widow’s or Bereavement Benefits

Take advice to find out the most advantageous course of action. Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or the benefits team at your local council.

BUT you can still have ‘underlying entitlement’, which can make means- tested benefits more generous because the calculation will include a carer premium

If you live in Wealden District, you can also contact Jaki Hall, Benefits Liaison Officer at Wealden District Council on 01323 443774.

Rother District Council Online Email Call 01424 787740 Write to Benefits Department Rother District Council PO Box 60 Bexhill-on-Sea, TN39 3ZF

Wealden District Council Online Email Call 01323 443500 Write to Wealden District Council, The Benefits Service, Council Offices, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, BN27 2AX


Update from the Carer Support Team “ It’s great being able to help people feel better, simply by talking their problems through, straightening out their confusion and putting them in touch with the right people.” Bev Wells, Adult Carer Support Worker

Blind Persons Allowance If you’re certified blind and are on a local authority register of blind persons, or if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland and are unable to perform any work for which eyesight is essential, you can claim Blind Person’s Allowance. If you can’t use up some or all of your allowance you may be able to transfer it. How Blind Person’s Allowance works Blind Person’s Allowance is added to your tax-free Personal Allowance - so is an extra amount of income you can get each year without paying tax. If you are on a low income or even if you don’t pay any tax you may be able to transfer your Blind Person’s Allowance to your spouse or civil partner - see the section on transferring further on. Additionally if both you and your spouse or civil partners qualify for 6

Care for the Carers

Blind Person’s Allowance you can each get an allowance. Level of Blind Person’s Allowance Blind Person’s Allowance for the tax year 2013-14 is £2,160 - there are no age or income restrictions. So if, for example, you’re 58, registered blind with your local authority and have: »» An annual salary of £12,000 »» A Personal Allowance of £9,440 »» Blind Person’s Allowance of £2,160 You only need to pay tax on £400 (£12,000 less the sum of £9,440 and £2,160). How you get Blind Person’s Allowance If you think you may be able to claim Blind Person’s Allowance contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on the priority telephone number 0845 366 7887. Lines are open from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday and 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, Saturday.

Transferring your Blind Person’s Allowance to your spouse or civil partner If your tax bill isn’t high enough to use up all of your Blind Person’s Allowance you can ask HMRC to transfer any unused allowance to your spouse or civil partner. To do this: »» Complete form 575 ‘Notice of transfer of surplus income tax allowances’ »» Call HMRC on 0845 366 7887 Lines are open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm, Saturday. If you are making a claim to get tax back on a form R40 you can also request form 575 by ticking the appropriate box. If you don’t pay tax and your spouse or civil partner does you can still transfer your unused allowance to them. If you claim Married Couple’s Allowance you can to transfer this allowance to your spouse or civil partner at the same time.

Hospital News Work underway to plan the implementation of changes to hospital services

Conquest Hospitals’ total activity. Local people should be reassured that the NHS in East Sussex has given a commitment to maintaining two thriving major hospitals with A&E services in Eastbourne and Hastings.

Last December, East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed the proposals to improve stroke, emergency general surgery and emergency orthopaedic services in East Sussex were in the best interests of the people of the county. These proposals will see the creation of a specialist centre for stroke services at Eastbourne District General Hospital, and a specialist centre for emergency general surgery and emergency orthopaedics at Conquest Hospital, Hastings. These changes affect around 1% of the Eastbourne District General and

In February, the two local Primary Care Trusts and East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT) received notification from solicitors acting on behalf of Liz Walke and the Save the DGH campaign of their intention to make a claim for a judicial review of the decisions about the future of these three services. As has been reported widely in the local media this threat of legal action has now been dropped. ESHT responded that the guiding principle has always been and remains the safety and future clinical sustainability of our services.

changes which are expected to happen before the end of this year. Planning is detailed and complex involving input from a number of specialists within the Trust as well as multi agency input. Due to this complexity no announcement on moving dates will be made until all the plans are in place and agreed. During the implemention planning phase ESHT will continue to engage in a programme of engagement with LINks and Care for the Carers along with other voluntary and charity groups to ensure their views are heard and taken account of in this planning process. If anyone has any queries they can contact the Shaping our Future Implementation Team at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust on 01323 417400 ext 5750.

Work is now progressing on plans for the implementation of these

Stop Press! 8th March At the time of going to press, NHS bosses are meeting to debate the short term future of maternity and paediatric services at the Eastbourne District General Hospital. The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust have said that changes need to be made for the safety of maternity and paediatric services in East Sussex; this is because they have been unable to recruit suitable specialist staff, which has led to an over reliance on temporary and agency staff and an increase in risk

to patients . The Board will be considering a number of options; however, the preferred change will be to maintain consultant led maternity and paediatric services at the Conquest Hospital, Hastings, and have a stand-alone midwifery-led maternity unit and enhanced ambulatory paediatric care at Eastbourne Hospital. We understand that any changes will be temporary and there will be a full public consultation before any permanent changes are made to maternity services in the county. We will keep you updated.


Staying Healthy . New Mental Wellbeing Service New service for mental wellbeing in East Sussex In October 2012, Together opened four ‘Your Way’ wellbeing hubs in Sussex. Their aim is to promote people’s mental wellbeing and support people on their journey to recovery. Your Way offers flexible, personalised mental health day support and guidance. Whether people want to learn to manage their illness, return to work, enter education, find new hobbies and social activities, solve housing issues, make friends or organise their finances, they can help people plan for their future and build structures that will help them stay well. People are welcome to access support from their staff in the best way that suits them. For some people, going along to one of their daily dropins provides regular social contact and familiar surroundings; other people may prefer to meet a worker out in the community or sometimes just keep in touch by phone. Their aim is to meet

New survey to gather views of carers of people with dementia If you care for someone with dementia, or if you used to, you are invited to complete a survey which is part of a new research project, commissioned by Carers


Care for the Carers

people’s needs as best as they can in a variety of ways. Together values the input of people’s families and carers as part of their support and recovery networks. With this in mind, they are looking to provide courses for carers of people with mental health problems later this year. For more information visit theYour Way pages on Together’s website at: Or contact one of the Your Way hubs directly: Lewes

01273 475219

Newhaven 01273 514753 Hastings


01424 434886 01424 213099

Trust, to help understand the needs of carers and improve future services for them. Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said: “Carers support people with dementia to stay independent for as long as possible, and when the dementia advances, they provide support which delays the costs of residential care. However many carers say they feel unsupported

and uninformed on the condition of the person they care for. “ To find out more, and to complete the survey online, visit: Alternatively, to receive a copy of the survey in the post, call Martin or Liz at Firefly Research on 01653 691351

Carer’s Rights A quick guide As a carer you have specific legal rights and entitlements. Knowing your rights can help you to get the support that you need. These rights for carers include: »» The right to have your needs assessed by your local authority »» The right to receive direct payments so that you can chose what services to have »» Rights in the workplace The right to an assessment The Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 sets out your rights for a carer’s assessment. It says that all carers aged 16 or above, who provide a ‘regular and substantial amount of care’ for someone aged 18 or over, have the right to an assessment of their needs as a carer. The assessment is provided by Adult Social Care, East Sussex County Council, as a way to see if they can offer any support to aid you in your caring role. Young Carers Young people (aged under 18) who provide care to adult family members are also entitled to an assessment of their needs. This should normally be carried out by local Children’s Department under the provisions of the Children Act 1989. However, in

certain circumstances children aged 16 and 17 can have a carers assessment. Parent Carers If you are a parent or have responsibility for a disabled child, your needs as a carer can be assessed under The Children Act 1989. You have the right to a family needs assessment.

Direct payments can give you greater flexibility to organise support and services yourself. They can be used to buy services from an organisation or to employ someone to provide assistance. However, they do bring responsibilities and it may be helpful to seek advice if direct payments are new to you.

The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act The Carers Act, in effect from April 2005, gives carers more choice and better opportunities to lead a more fulfilling life by ensuring they receive information about their rights under the Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000.

Your rights in the workplace Since the Employment Act 2002 became law, working parents of disabled children under 18 have the right to request flexible working arrangements. Additionally, since April 2007, if you are a carer of an adult who is a relative, or living at your address, you also have the right to ask for flexible working.

It also ensures that carers assessments consider leisure, training and work activities, and provides for co-operation between local authorities and other bodies, including housing, education and health, particularly in relation to the planning and provision of community care services that are relevant to carers.

However, while you have the right to ask for flexible working, it is important to know that employers are not bound to grant these requests. Carers also have the right to take unpaid time off work for the people they care for in an emergency.

The right to receive direct payments If the outcome of your carer’s assessment is that services should be provided, you have the right to ask for a direct payment instead of having the service arranged by social services.

More information Carers Direct has a more detailed section about carers rights, visit: guide/rights/ To talk through your rights as a carer call Care for the Carers on 01323 738390 or email


Carers In Touch . Carers’ Groups Carers' Groups Carers’ groups offer a warm welcome, conversation, information and a sharing experience. Each group meets monthly on the following days:

Lewes 3rd Monday Eastbourne 1st Wednesday Hailsham 2nd Wednesday Seaford 3rd Wednesday Pevensey 4th Wednesday Rye 2nd Thursday Eastbourne Bookwatch 3rd Thursday Wadhurst 4th Thursday Bexhill 1st Friday Hastings & St. Leonards 3rd Friday Forest Row 4th Friday Uckfield 1st Monday

Interested? If you would like to find out more call Francesca on 01323 738390 or email her at

10 Care for the Carers

Family Carers’ Coffee Mornings Do you look after someone with learning disabilities who is aged 16 or over?


We are starting more learning disability family carers coffee mornings in the coming year.

Meets on the last Tuesday of each month

We currently have a group that meets in Eastbourne (last Tuesday of the month) and another just started in Hailsham (last Wednesday of the month), and a Lewes group starting in February (last Thursday of the month). We are also hoping to start a group in Hastings soon. If you are interested in coming along to any of these, or if you would like a similar group in your area, please contact Sarah on 01323 738390 or email

Hailsham Meets on the last Wednesday of each month

Lewes Meets on the last Thursday of each month

“for the first time I feel listened to, and feel that somebody understands” Carer

Carers In Touch . Training Courses Hands on Caring


Care for the Carers

Starts on Monday 29th April and finishes on 8th July.

Our Hands on Caring courses will be soon be starting in Eastbourne, Bexhill and Uckfield. The course is aimed at people who are new to caring, although all carers are welcome to join.


It is an eight week course and covers a range of subjects including practical caring issues, emergency planning, first aid, back care and looking after yourself as sometimes taking time for yourself is a real challenge when you are a carer. The course will be presented by a combination of Care for the Carers staff and external professionals. If you are interested please call Francesca at the office on 01323 738390 or email her at

Starts on Tuesday 23rd April and finishes on 18th June

Uckfield Starts on Thursday 2nd May and finishes on 27th June

Manual Handling

Healthcare Appointments

East Sussex County Council

Does the person you care for have home care or home-based respite arranged by Adult Social Care?

ESCC are offering free training courses on manual handling for unpaid carers. The courses are normally delivered once a month at their specially developed manual handling training room in Hailsham. The courses are available on the following dates:

5th April, 1 - 3 pm th Tuesday 7 May, 1 - 3 pm th Monday 24 June, 1 - 3 pm th Tuesday 16 July, 10 - 12 pm Friday

For more information or to book a place email jason.o’ or call Francesca at Care for the Carers on 01323 7383890

If yes, you can ask your provider to arrange for additional care while you are out at healthcare appointments - this includes the and courses.

Manual Handling

Hands on Caring

This is part of the trial Healthcare Appointments service from Adult Social Care. The service is free and the trial period has been extended up to October 2013. You can read more about the new Healthcare Appointments service in the Christmas edition of CareLine. If you don’t have a copy you can read past issues online or call the office on 01323 738390 and we’ll send you a copy.


Carers in Touch . News from the Groups Trading Standards visit the Carers’ Groups Since January, Elizabeth Bowring & Lee Ede - officers from East Sussex Trading Standards - have been visiting carers’ groups across East Sussex to highlight the work their service carries out. In particular, they spoke to carers about cold calling and scam mail. Key areas of work for Trading Standards include animal health, food, under age sales, counterfeit goods, consumer advice, doorstep crime and protecting victims of predatory marketing. Cold Calling Trading Standards is keen to disrupt traders that cold call on residents across the County and offer to do work or sell goods. This can include traders offering driveways, fascias, soffits, roofing & gardening work, as well as goods for sale such as carpets, flat screen TVs and power tools. It’s important to report instances of cold calling as these traders could be linked to distraction burglary and other doorstep crime. Two officers are ‘on call’ to respond to reports of such 12 Care for the Carers

doorstep crime and can intervene if the trader is still on site or is nearby, or if there is an urgent need to secure evidence or if the trader is expected to return later. No Cold Calling Zones In areas where a lot of residents may be vulnerable to rogue traders and high pressure sales techniques, No Cold Calling Zones have been set up. These are managed by the residents within the zones and the aim is to empower communities to say no to cold calling. Signs are erected at key points along the boundary of each zone and residents are encouraged send traders on their way and to report instances of cold calling. Scam Mail Together with their colleagues both Elizabeth and Lee support victims of scam mail as part of their work. Every year around 3.2 million people fall victim to mass marketing scams such as bogus lotteries, deceptive prize draws, fake psychics, get-rich-quick schemes and miracle health cures. Lots of these scams are sent through the post and target the elderly and vulnerable. According to research carried out for the Office of Fair Trading victims of scams in the UK are estimated to lose £3.5 million every year.

Scams not only cause financial damage to victims but can also be harmful to their health because of the stress caused by losing money; often relationships with family members are severely affected. It is very difficult to get to the people who matter and break the cycle of responding to scams so it is vital that help and support is offered as soon as possible. They also want to know about cases of financial abuse of any kind to a vulnerable adult. Not only scams but also civil contracts for example double glazing or mobile phones. These are often entered into while the person is under pressure or when they don’t have contractual capacity. Where possible Trading Standards would intervene and assist the vulnerable person together with their family & friends. Call Citizens Advice Consumer Centre on 08454 04 05 06 Email trading.standards@ Write to East Sussex County Council Trading Standards, St Mary’s House, 52 St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3UU For urgent calls to report rogue trading 01323 463430

Other News Carer’s Choir and Singing Workshops Would you like to be a part of a Carer’s Choir? The Association of Carers is holding four singing workshops in April and May; the group will learn one simple song each week and then perform them in public at various locations during Carers Week. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re very good at singing, all you need to be able to do is enjoy it. Run by Jo Wood, who describes herself as “a creative,

unconventional, energetic and inspirational singing group leader”, the workshops will be held fortnightly from 2pm to 4.30pm on the following dates, Wednesday 17th April, Wednesday 1st May, Wednesday 15th May and Wednesday 29th May. The venue will probably be St Peter’s Community Centre in Bexhill Old Town, but we will confirm this with everyone who is interested at the beginning of April.

they are more than welcome. If you would like to come to the workshops but not take part in the public performances, that is fine. You do not need to be receiving a service from the Association of Carers to come along and transport will be available if required. If you would like to book your place or find out more, please get in touch with Sarah Corrie on 01424 722309.

If you would like to bring the person that you care for with you to the singing workshops, please do, if they don’t want to join in, volunteers will be available to spend time with them, but if they want to be part of the choir too,

freepost address

Contact Care for the Carers call us on 01323 738 390 or email If you would like more information, support or advice around your caring role, or to notify us of any changes, please complete this slip and return it to our freepost address.

Name Address

Care for the Carers FREEPOST RTAC-GURC-XUJC Highlight House 8 St Leonards Road Eastbourne, BN21 3UH

I would like to be called regarding: Support & advice around my caring role Information on carer services I have moved: Please update my address

Postcode Telephone Email Please post this slip to our freepost address

I am no longer a carer: Please remove me from the mailing list Please let me know about staying in touch I would like to receive CareLine: by post email


Staying Healthy . Your Wellbeing Carers Wellbeing Initiative Clinic at The Isabel Blackman Centre, Hastings Old Town The Carers Wellbeing Initiative (CWI) and the Isabel Blackman Centre are working together to provide personal treatments in a number of therapies including massage, shiatsu, reflexology, Indian head massage and aromatherapy. They aim to aid relaxation and wellbeing, thus helping to reduce the symptoms associated with stress and caring.

Each appointment lasts around 50 minutes. However during the first appointment a lifestyle and detailed case history is taken in order to obtain an in depth picture of carers’ wellbeing and health issues. All consultations are confidential and where there is a condition for which any of the therapies may not be appropriate, referral to other healthcare professionals will be discussed. Participants attend their programme at no cost but in return are expected to provide feedback on their experience. This feedback will help them obtain funding to continue to provide the programme to a wider community of carers for free.

Scheduled to run once a fortnight, due to popularity and an increase in demand, the clinic now runs every Monday afternoon. If you are interested in attending the clinic or if you would like to find out more please contact Andy Jancewicz on or you can call the Isabel Blackman Centre on 01424 446428. Alternatively take a look at their website:

Support Care for the Carers If you would like to make a donation please send the form below, along with your donation as a cheque or postal order, to our freepost address. For more information please call us on 01323 738390

If you are a tax payer, you can Gift Aid your donation and make it worth more. For every pound you give to us we get an extra 25p from the Inland revenue.

Please post this slip to our FREEPOST address (page 13)

My donation


I would like to make a donation of ÂŁ


I enclose a cheque/postal order Please make cheques payable to Care for the Carers

I would like to Gift Aid my donation Postcode

A Lasting Legacy


Please contact me to discuss how I can make a donation in my will

Email 14 Care for the Carers

let’s talk benefits east sussex carers’ forum East Sussex Carers’ Forum Summary Report, 5th February 2013 Over 120 people attended the East Sussex Carers Forum on 5th February in St Leonards; in view of changes to the welfare system from April 2013 the theme of the Forum was ‘Let’s Talk Benefits’. As well as speakers from national and local Government there were a variety of information stands from local organisations. Jaki Hall, Benefits Liaison Officer at Wealden District Council, provided a brief explanation of the changes to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013. Final details are still being agreed but you can contact your local authority and speak to a benefits adviser who will be able to discuss your entitlements. Jaki explained that Council Tax Benefit will no longer be a national scheme, and in East Sussex will become Council Tax Reduction Scheme. The maximum support payable will not be capped but the minimum rate will be £5 per week – if the benefit is calculated at less than £5 then nothing will be payable.

Barry Atkins, Head of Strategic Commissioning, Older People and Carers at East Sussex County Council gave an update on the planned funding cuts in Adult Social Care, he reassured carers that the carer-specific budget and carers services will not be affected but acknowledged that carers will be affected by service cuts for those they care for. Oliver Mawdsley, Outreach Manager at the Carers Allowance Unit, Department for Work and Pensions in Preston spoke in detail about Carers Allowance. Oliver stressed that carers should always apply for carers allowance as it is a ‘gateway benefit’ which may allow access to other benefits even if carers allowance itself isn’t payable. This is especially relevant for carers who receive a pension. More details can be found at browse/benefits/disability The forum ended with a short question and answer session, when carers expressed concern about a lack of information

available on forthcoming changes and also the lack of easily understandable information about benefits in general. Many carers were worried that cuts to care packages would reduce their respite from caring. To them, a break meant “freedom, a decent night’s sleep, ability to carry on, recharge batteries, sharing responsibility.” The full forum report will be available shortly on Care for the Carers website ( uk) and will be sent to all who attended the forum. The report will include a list of contact points for queries arising from changes to benefits. Thank you to everyone who attended the forum – carers, staff and partner organisations. If you would like to receive a copy of the report or would like information on future forums please call Debbie on 01323 738390 or email her at


Photographs from

East Sussex Carers’ Forum 5th February 2013

“A really good and beneficial event. Good to learn new things and meet other carers”

CareLine in partnership with:

CareLine Spring 2013  

CareLine is our free magazine for unpaid carers in East Sussex, filled with useful information, tips and advice; as well as what's happening...

CareLine Spring 2013  

CareLine is our free magazine for unpaid carers in East Sussex, filled with useful information, tips and advice; as well as what's happening...