Carers Information and Advice

Local carer support services

GP Care Advisers can assist you with information and advice on benefits, equipment and care services. A Care Adviser will spend at least half a day a week at every surgery across the Colchester and Tendring areas. Contact your GP Surgery to arrange to see your Care Adviser – GP Care Advisers – Tendring Area

Action for Family Carers is an Essex charity, which for over 25 years, has been providing information and support to Carers who have unpaid caring responsibilities for others.

Carers FIRST is a charity supporting people who look after a relative or friend who due to ill health, physical or mental illness, disability, frailty, or addiction cannot manage without their support. They provide information, advice, guidance, emotional support, training and activities, giving carers an opportunity to have a break from their caring role and help them to get the support they need. Download an information sheet here

Crossroads Care Tendring and Colchester offer services for carers of all ages and people with care needs. Services include personal care, respite breaks for carers and a young carers group. Tel: 01255 860960

Essex Carers Support provide help and support for carers. Tel: 01255 474410

Mersea Day Respite Centre provides carer’s emotional support, information and advocacy. Run by Action for Family Carers.

North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (NEPFT) Carers Leaflet for carers of people using NEPFT services.

Carers support group and services in specific areas

For advice, a chat and the opportunity to meet up with other carers.

Clacton:

Sam’s Hall, Community Information Centre, 20-22 Rosemary Road, on the first Tuesday of every month 10am to 12.30pm. Run by Carers First

Colchester:

Al-Anon family groups for those affected by someone else’s drinking.

Headway Carers Support Group for those caring for sufferers of brain injury including stroke.

Maryland Carers Support Group for carers of people with dementia. Run by Colchester Alzheimer’s Society.

Harwich and Dovercourt:

Harwich Fellowship for the Sick – Tel: 01255 503980. General support for patients and former patients of Harwich Hospital.

Holland-on-Sea:

Dementia Carers Support Groups provided by the Alzheimer’s Society, Tendring.

Stroke Carers Group provided by Tendring Specialist Stroke Services.

Mersea Island:

Carers can get support at the Action for Family Carers Day Centre in West Mersea.

Alzheimers Mersea Island Support Group run by Alzheimer’s Society, Colchester.

Mersea Island “Guardian Angels” provide befriending, transport to appointments, sitting services to give the carer a break and shopping. All services are free, available on Mersea Island only, and provided by unpaid volunteers. Donations are requested and any remaining money at the end of the year is donated to charity. Tel: 07961 322923 between 8am and 6pm, 7 days a week.

See also our page on specific conditions for carer support groups for carers and patients.

Emotional support

Health In Mind offers Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) skills to help assist people in managing mild to moderate levels of depression and anxiety. Techniques and skills can be learnt through regular “Manage your Mood” courses, computerised CBT and guided self help work over the telephone alongside the support of a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. “Support Time and Recovery Workers” within the service can also offer carers support with practical issues and signpost to local services. Tel: 0300 330 5455

The Stockwell Centre in Colchester provides subsidised counselling for carers. Tel: 01206 768211

The Samaritans is open 24 hours a day.

SODA – for people living in the Dovercourt and Harwich areas.

NERIL North Essex Resource and Information Line – 0845 0900 909 (local rate) Open 4pm to 8pm – 7 days a week.

National websites

NHS Choices Carers Website

Carers UK – includes an on-line carers forum

Princess Royal Trust for Carers – includes an on-line carers forum

Direct Gov Caring for Someone

Caring for older people

Family Support Clacton offers a befriending service, a home sitting service for carers, social events, day centres, and outings. Has wheelchair equipped minibuses.

Relatives and Residents Association

Age Concern Clacton – Tel: 01255 473346

Age Concern Harwich – Tel: 01255 880261

Age UK Colchester – Tel: 01206 368420

Age UK Essex Befriending Service offers support to lonely older people – Tel: 01255 421302

Age UK Essex Toenail Cutting Service – Tel: 01245 423333

Mersea Island “Guardian Angels” provide befriending, transport to appointments, sitting services to give the carer a break and shopping. All services are free, available on Mersea Island only, and provided by unpaid volunteers. Donations are requested and any remaining money at the end of the year is donated to charity. Tel: 07961 322923 between 8am and 6pm, 7 days a week.

Harwich and District Pensioners Association – Tel: 01255 554937

The Falls Prevention Service

Tendring Careline providing Telecare services “calling for help at the touch of a button”

Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Borough Homes provide a number of services that help Colchester residents aged over 60:

  • The Financial services division can giver older people help and advice about all aspects of housing benefit and council tax – Tel: 01206 282300
  • Swan Staying Put provides information, advice and support for older peple to repair and adapt their homes – Tel: 01277 844235
  • Home Support Scheme – if you are aged 60 or over you may be able to get short term assistance with budgeting, shopping or cleaning – Tel: 01206 282508
  • Sheltered housing for older tenancts – Tel: 01206 282511
  • Community alarms – community safety including door chains and spy holes. Tel: 01206 282277
  • Waste services assisted collection scheme. If you have difficulty putting your refuse out on the boundary of your property -Tel: 01206 282700
  • Activity centres – available in Lion Walk and Ladbrooke Drive – Tel: 01206 282578
  • Health walks at Highwoods Country Park – Tel: 01206 853588
  • Club 50+ at Colchester Leisure World for fitness and social activities – Tel: 01206 282000
  • Free bus pass – Tel: 01206 282329

Free electrical testing on domestic appliances to residents in Essex over the age of 65 – Call Trading Standards on 0845 603 7626 for an appointment

Advocacy

SEAP partners with the new Essex Advocacy Service to deliver advocacy support in Essex

Home Support Services

Swan Care and Repair povides a range of services that enable older and disabled people to maintain their independence. These services include: Major adaptations such as stairlifts and access showers and help and advice with repairs. Also includes a ‘gardening service’ and a ‘home from hospital’ service which can include shopping, telephone support. Tel: 01255 814 410.

Warm Homes, a free service provided by Colchester Borough Council, targets those most at risk from cold related illness, for example older people and those on low incomes in North East Essex. This organisation provides information direct to the public e.g. grants for insulation & heating. Email: warmhomes@colchester.gov.uk or contact Mel Rundle (Warm Homes Project Officer) on 01206 282541

Transport Services

Colchester Community Transport

Frinton Sliver Circle – Tel: 01255 852000

Frinton Christian Community Care – Tel: 01255 677000

Harwich Connexions Transport Co-operative

Helping Hands, Tendring

Manningtree Community Transport – Tel: 01206 393727

Mersea Island “Guardian Angels” – Tel: 07961 322923

Tendring Community Transport

Legal advice and money

Essex Carers Support can advise you on Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Carers Allowance. We can help you complete the forms and deal with any queries you have.

Age Concern Colchester can offer up to 30 minutes of free legal advice provided by an independent firm of solicitors for older people living in the borough of Colchester. Age Concern also offer general help with applying for grants and benefits

Citizens Advice Bureau

Community Care Legal Advice can provide advice on community care, and answer questions about whether you will need to pay for care, what kind of care is available.

Counsel and Care provide information and advice for older people

Turn2us is a charitable service that helps people access the money available to them.

Department of Work and Pensions provide advice on all benefits and entitlements – Tel: 0800 882 200

Help with money is also provided by national websites, including NHS Choices Carers Site, the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Carers UK and DirectGov.

Ethnic minority support

Tendring and Colchester Minority Ethnic Partnership supports black and minority ethnic people who live in the Colchester and Tendring areas. Provides information, advice and support so families can get access to local services. Holding a monthly drop-in for women and children where you can also meet other people. Can help you to fill in forms etc.

Meal delivery services

Dinners Direct , based in Wivenhoe – Tel: 01206 826681

Tiptree Hot Meals – Tel: 01621 816963

Essex County Council also provides a Meals on Wheels Service.

Medicines use review service

FREE service now available. What is it? It’s a chance to sit down quietly with your local pharmacist to have a chat about your medicines. What’s it for? To help you get the best out of your medicines. It would be worth thinking beforehand about all the medicines you take and considering any questions you might wish to ask. For example, “What does this medicine do?” or “How long will I need to use this medicine?”

Volunteering

Colchester Volunteer Centre provides volunteering opportunties including “Knit-n-Natter” and Timebanking. Tel: 01206 768930 Email: info@volunteeringdevelopment.co.uk

Volunteer Centre Tendring

Community Voluntary Services Tendring

Essex Carers Support are looking for volunteers to get to know a carer and build an on-going relationship with them, giving the person support and guidance when needed and helping them to speak up for themselves.

Mencap Shared Care – a respite scheme that uses volunteers to spend time with someone with a learning disability. Tel: 01376 519450

The Dignity in Care Network seeks to recruit Dignity in Care Champions help drive improvements in the levels of care provided to older people in hospitals and care homes.

Wheel chairs & other equipment

Dial-a-Wheelchair. Call Monday to Thursday 01206 518524. For anyone with a CO postcode requiring the short-term loan of a wheelchair. The service is free and also provides advice about equipment that may make your life easier. provides information to carers on products that can promote independent living for adults and children with physical and/or sesnsory impairements.

Shopmobility – Clacton – 01255 435566. Providing powered wheelchairs to people with limited mobility who wish to shop in Clacton town centre and surrounding areas

J F Aldous (Wheelchairs), Unit H1, Plough Road Centre, lough Road, Gt Bentley – 01206 251040.

North East Essex – Wheelchair Service 01206 742563; Repairs – 01245 468834

Mr Mobiliser – Wheelchair Repairs 01255 435111

Library books

Library Direct provides library books to those that cannot travel to libraries in Essex. Call 01245 438438

Computers

IT Can Help is a network of volunteers who are able to offer free local computer assistance to disabled people.

Community Voluntary Services Tendring run a Silver Surfers Club for the over 50s every Monday afternoon, 2pm – 4pm.

Pets

The Cinnamon Trust is a national charity for older people, people who are terminally ill and their pets. They offer you support with any issues relating to looking after your pet.

Cinema Pass

The nationally recognised “Cinemas Exhibitors’ Association Card” enables free entry for carers when accompanying the person they care for to the cinema. To be eligible for a card the cared for person needs to either be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance, or be a registered blind person.

Safeguarding adults

Ask Sal Helpline. For concerns about an adult being abused. Tel: 08452 666 663

When caring ends

The Relatives and Residents Association Essex can help with a choice of care home.

Help the Hospices provide information about caring at the end of life. They also provide a detailed booklet on caring for someone with a terminal illness, Caring Counts.

National Council for Palliative Care provides information for patients and carers on palliative care.

St Helena Hospice, Colchester

Carer assessments

Carers Assessments and other support from Essex County Council.

Carers Assessments – All carers are entitled to a carers assessment from Essex County Council. The assessment will look at how caring affects your ability to work, undertake training and enjoy leisure time. One of the possible outcomes of a carers assessment is a carers direct payment.

Carers Emergency Planning Service – If you are worried about what will happen to the person you care for if you are suddenly unable to continue in your caring role, this service will support you to complete an emergency contingency plan.If you are worried about what will happen to the person you care for if you are suddenly unable to continue in your caring role, this service will support you to complete an emergency contingency plan. 

Telecare is a technology based system that can help provide peace of mind for carers and those that they care for.

Adult Community Learning – details of adult community learning courses in Essex.

Reablement – Service user and Carer Guide

Have your say

Public, Patient & Carer Engagement Forums. Three Public, Patient Carer Engagement Forums are established in North East Essex by the Clinical Commissioning Group. These are located in Colchester, Clacton, Harwich and everyone is welcome to attend the meetings. 

Have your say about your GP or hospital service. NHS Choices allows you to leave a comment about the care that you received from your GP practice or local hospital and to give them a ‘user rating’ for others to see.

National Carers Strategy. The Government’s national strategy for carers, Recognised, valued and supported: next steps for the Carers Strategy, sets out plans for supporting carers.

PALS. If you want to discuss particular aspects of a service provided to you, then you can contact the PALS (Patient advice and Liaison Service.

Commissioning for carers

Carers Needs Assessment for North East Essex

Supporting Carers – the Case for Change

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