Training and learning opportunities

When you take on a caring role it can be easy to forget about your needs and wellbeing.  Taking time for yourself and for your own interests is important. Learning for leisure and gaining new skills can help you while you are caring. It can bring you new opportunities and new friends and may help you move towards paid employment.

Gain confidence before going forward

Many Carers find that having an activity outside of caring is important to them. If you feel uncertain, do ask if there are taster courses or others that might help you build your confidence and find what is right for you.

Help deciding the best way forward

There are some organisations that can help you with decisions and advise you about learning or study.  You will find that different organisations help different age groups and these are listed below. If you are concerned about funding the courses, do ask for their advice as there may be different options available.

Find education and learning groups near me


For people of working age - The Jobcentre has one main switchboard number for everyone to use – Call 0845 604 3719. You can ring this number and ask to speak to the Carer’ Advisor.

Adult Learning (Oxfordshire County Council)

For ages 19 or over and they have a range of courses available from learning for leisure to IT and GCSE’s for career focused learning – Call 01865 797474 or e-mail

Next Step

Also for ages 19 or over and this is a free national helpline and online service to help you take control and move on in work and life, whether this be starting a new career, CV and interview advice or finding the best course for you.

Call 0800 100 900 or visit their online support at

Young Carers’ Services

For information and support from specialised services for young Carers up to the age of 25 contact:


South and Vale Young Carers’ Project
Tel: 01235 510212


Spurgeons Young Carers’ Service
Tel: 01865 777224 / 07854 726678

Connexions Direct

Supports those aged 13 to 19 and can offer all the information and advice you need to make the decisions and choices in your life. To contact them call 080 800 13 2 19 or visit their website

Learning for Leisure

Learning for leisure can give you the opportunity to make time for yourself and learn something new. To find the right course or to request a brochure, please contact Adult Learning (Oxfordshire County Council) – ages 19 or over – 01865 797474or e-mail

Connexions Direct

Supports those aged 13 to 19 and can offer all the information and advice you need to make the decisions and choices in your life. To contact them call 080 800 13 2 19 or visit their website

For further information and support in relation to combining study and caring visit call Carers Direct on 0808 802 02 02

Study towards a career

There are a number of options for support and guidance if you are thinking about getting back to work or changing career, whether this be combining study with a caring role or getting back to study when caring responsibilities end.

Jobcentre Plus support

As a Carer you may wish to go on a training course or improve your learning in another way. This may be to help you prepare for returning to work or to update your skills in your current job. Jobcentre Plus can help you decide what sort of training is best for you and tell you about help with course fees, transport or childcare costs. Improving your skills and discovering new talents could help you find a job to suit you call 0845 604 3719. When you ring this number ask to speak to the Carers’ Advisor.


Adult Learning (Oxfordshire County Council)

Ages 19 or over – 01865 797474 or e-mail

Learn Direct

For business specific skills advice – 0800 101 901

The Open University

For at home learning - 0845 300 60 90

Next step

Ages 19 or over - 0800 100 900


Local colleges

can be a very good place to start as they understand their requirements better than most and can confirm what support and advice they can provide.  Some local colleges and their contact details are as follows:

Abingdon and Witney College

Tel:01235 555 585 (Abingdon)
Tel:01993 703 464 (Witney)


Brookes University

Henley College

Oxford and Cherwell College


Please note for all the organisations it is advisable to discuss your caring role in relation to your availability for courses and make sure you ask if there are any concessions or replacement care options.

It is important to check if your activity will affect your benefits. It is possible it won’t, but every circumstance is different so it is always advisable to check.  Contact an Advice Centre such as Citizens Advice Bureau or Jobcentre Plus.

Citizens Advice Oxfordshire

Telephone 08444 111 444 or go to the website.

  • Abingdon
  • Didcot
  • Witney
  • Banbury
  • Henley
  • Bicester
  • Oxford
  • Chipping Norton
  • Thame



Please note: The organisations listed on this page are not endorsed or recommended by Oxfordshire County Council and the contact details are provided for information only.

Please feel free to contact any of the organisations on this fact sheet yourself. If required, Carers Oxfordshire can also help you further. You can contact them on 0345 050 7666, Monday to Thursday 08:30-17:00, Friday 08:30-16:00

Information links

Carers Trust

Help, advice, online community

NHS Choices

Guidance, help and support. Carers Direct helpline on 0300 123 1053 

Oxfordshire County Council

Social and health care information

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