What we do Carers in Southampton empowers informal carers by providing free support, advice, guidance and learning opportunities and improving their choice, control and independence. We are funded by Southampton City Council. Who can use the service? Anyone who gives up their time, unpaid, to look after someone who needs additional support, such as a family member, a friend, or a neighbour. You must be resident in a Southampton city postcode or looking after someone who lives in a Southampton city postcode. The service offers: Personal supportYou can talk to any one of our experienced team of link workers, each with their own specialist area, who can be a key point of contact to provide advice and information to you. – We give advice and support via our dedicated phone line 023 8058 2387 is staffed by our team from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. – We advocate on behalf of carers when appropriate. – We offer information on services available in the city and support personal referrals to these services if necessary. – We help informal carers to look after their own health and wellbeing first so they are able and encouraged to have a life of their own alongside their caring role. – We identify ‘hidden’ carers who do not currently use services for themselves or the person they care for. Information directoryYou can access printed information at our offices or online information via our website. Staff can assist with this if needed. NewslettersOur newsletters publish information and events relevant to many conditions, inform carers about their rights and entitlements and advertise consultations so carers can have their say. Learning and training opportunitiesWe run or publicise a range of social and learning opportunities and enable carers to meet up with others who enjoy similar hobbies and interests. Carers CardsYou can apply for a Carers Card if you look after someone who lives in a Southampton city postcode. Either you or the person you look after has to be paying council tax to Southampton City Council. To apply carers must first complete or have completed a Carers Assessment. NB Parent carers and young carers are also eligible to receive a Carers Card. Carers AssessmentsCarers Assessments are for carers looking after someone resident in a Southampton city postcode.We manage the referral process, do the assessment, write the support plan and provide follow-up help. Emergency PlanningWhen someone relies on you being there, most of us have a friend of family member you can phone and ask to step in if there is a crisis. But if YOU cannot make that call, what will happen? We run FREE informal sessions to help you start writing an Emergency Plan. When the plan is complete you will be given a keyring so anyone can see you have caring responsibilities. It has a dedicated phone number on it for emergency services to ring. This sets your plan into action. Carer Friendly CompaniesAny business in Southampton can sign up to our Carer Friendly Company campaign. It is a completely free resource. Our Carer Friendly Company Charter encourages organisations to review their procedures towards a pro-active approach to identifying unpaid carers, informing them of services available to them and creating policies within an environment where carers’ needs are met within the boundaries identified by the company. OnlineOur website, Facebook and Twitter feed provide useful and timely information to carers on issues, news and events. Please click CIS Information Booklet to read more about our service.