Taking care of yourself in 2023

by | Mar 2, 2023 | Carer News, Carers voices

In September 2022 we held our Cost of Living focus groups to see the areas where carers are struggling. As we spoke with carers at these groups, they shared some of their top tips with us to help other carers.

1. Connect with others through online or face-to-face groups.

You can find Carers Information and Advice Groups and Carers Wellbeing Groups in the ‘What’s On’ section of our website, www.cftc.org.uk. This is also where you’ll hear about what’s available out there, from swap shops, Carers Card offers and community fridges to bargain activities, workshops and days out.

You can find out more about the carers groups we offer across East Sussex. If you are a Young Carer or Young Adult Carer, please contact us for more information about our Young Carers and Young Adult Carers groups.

2. Join your utility provider’s Priority Services Register 

Some of the carers at the focus groups recommended joining your utility provider’s Priority Services Register. This means your supplier has a duty to give extra help when needed, for example if there is a power outage or if the water supply is cut off, to name just a few examples.

You can do this with Ofgem here: bit.ly/priority-services-register. Their website also gives you more information on eligibility.

3. Request a Warm Home Check

While the weather may be warming as we head into Spring, a warm home check can still help you to save money. Have a look at Warm Home East Sussex’s warm home check.
This free service can provide you with telephone advice if you’re struggling to stay warm at home. Carers told us how the tips provided had saved them money, but also that for some it had led to other grants and support from charitable trusts.

You can visit their website to find out more: bit.ly/warmhomecheck, call 0800 464 7307 or text WARM to 80011.

4. Visit your local Community Fridge

Community fridges are for everyone. People from all walks of life visit their local community fridge to pick up surplus local food at bargain prices and collect free food that would have gone to waste otherwise. Find your nearest Community Fridge at www.communityfridgemap.org.uk.

It’s worth noting that some of the fridges, such as Uckfield Community Fridge, may not be listed on the map yet.

5. Make time for you

Make time for you. This came up repeatedly. It can be priceless. Try to keep doing some of those things you love, even if it is for a few minutes. If you’re finding yourself struggling to find time to yourself, why not contact our Carers Hub and see what support, activities and respite care might be available to you.

You can call us on 01323 738390 from 10am to 5pm every week day to speak with one of our team of dedicated support workers on our Carers Hub.  You can also email us at info@cftc.org.uk or text us on 07860 077300.

girl in green jacket playing with white and pink plastic balls on green grass field during
Are you missing out on benefits?

Did you know that it is estimated that an astonishing £13 billion in benefits remains unclaimed? As the benefits system is undergoing a great deal of change, expert advice can make all the difference in helping you to get what’s rightfully yours.

How about a benefits check?

Our partners at the East Sussex Citizens Advice Bureaus and the Hastings Advice and Representation Centre (HARC) can provide benefits checks for you. Checks are free and confidential.

To contact HARC, visit The Advice and Community Hub, Renaissance House, London Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 6AN, telephone Benefits Helpline: 0333 344 0681 or the Advice Line: 01424 428375. Information is also available online: www.harcuk.com

For Citizens Advice, call their General Advice Freephone: 0800 144 8848, or CAB Consumer Helpline: 0808 223 1133, or visit their website www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Adapted from an article from Winter Careline 2022, written by Mark Townsend, Team Leader: Communities at Care for the Carers.

Easter photo by Gabe Pierce on Unsplash

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