Local residents across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, who look after or support a relative, friend or neighbour and are unpaid are urged to reach out for support and advice during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Council has a dedicated Carer Support Service called CRISP (Carers Resource Information Support Programme) which is free and available all year round to carers of all ages. The service provides ongoing support and information as well as offering access to events and a friendly community of other local unpaid carers.
Residents can contact the service by either phone: 01202 458204, email: email@example.com or visit: www.crispweb.org. The usual drop-in sessions and events are currently unavailable. However, the service has a closed Facebook group and is developing a number of online social events.
Support is also available for young carers aged under 18, who can contact BCP Council’s Early Help Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01202 262626.
Councillor Lesley Dedman, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Unpaid carers who look after a loved one are so important in the community and they do an amazing job every day and even more so during this current crisis. We want to do all we can to ensure they have access to help and support so that they can continue to stay safe and well and continue to look after their relative or friend.
“Caring for someone can be very isolating and lonely, and even more so now with the government restrictions in place and so it’s vital that unpaid carers know who they can turn to and where they can seek information and advice when they need it most.”
If an unpaid carer is self-isolating because of coronavirus symptoms and needs urgent help to access food and essential household items for themselves or the person they usually look after they should contact the Council’s Together We Can community response hotline on: 0300 123 7052, available 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week or visit: www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk
The Carer Support Service also provides an emergency back-up scheme, Carers in Crisis, if someone becomes too unwell to look after their loved one. Please contact 01202 458204.
Even if a carer receives Carers’ Allowance they should still consider themselves as unpaid and help and support is available.
Further information is available on the BCP Council website.