State of Caring Survey 2017

Finding out the truth about carers' lives

Carers UK is gathering evidence from its latest survey to push for change.

In the biggest survey of its kind of carers in the UK, the data collected paints a real picture of the life carers lead. 

What happens to your feedback?

The campaigning charity runs the survey each year to find out what life is like for people who are caring, and what needs to change to make life better. It uses the responses to provide evidence to policy makers.

In the last year, evidence has been used to:

  • submit research to the UK Government's Carers Strategy
  • demonstrate that the Care Act in England is not making enough of a difference to carers' lives
  • argue for the needs of carers to be central in housing policy.
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Carers' personal payments from 1 April 2017

Changes to carers' personal budgets in Oxfordshire were agreed by Oxfordshire County Council and Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group in February 2017 following the carers' consultation last year. We have made changes so that we can continue to provide support, within the reduced financial resources available. 
Reports produced at the end of the consultation were submitted to the council's Cabinet meeting on 24 January 2017 ahead of the decisions agreed in February 2017. You can see them here.

Carers' personal payment 

The decision made is that from 1 April 2017, there will be a 'flat rate' payment of £300 awarded following a carers' assessment or a carers' review to those carers who are assessed as having high needs. 
This will be called a carers' personal payment, and it is for carers to use for themselves, in a way that supports them in their caring role.

More information

More information about carers' assessments and carers' reviews.


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Carers' personal budgets - what's changing?

Following the recent carers' consultation, Oxfordshire County Council has agreed changes to the current carers' personal budgets scheme which will affect the number of carers eligible for the personal budget payments and the level of payment awarded. These changes will come into effect from 1 April 2017and further information will be available before then.

If you have been sent a carers' review letter, please go online and complete the review form or contact Carers Oxfordshire for assistance before 15 March 2017. Any carers who need to complete a new carers' assessment as a result of their review should do so before 31 March 2017 to be assessed under the current scheme.

Completing your paperwork

If you have been awarded a carer's personal budget and have not yet returned your completed paperwork, this should be done before 1 May 2017.

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Join our TV Challenge Quiz!

Join Carers Oxfordshire's evening of fun and entertainment for the whole family at Dalton Barracks Community Centre, Abingdon, on Saturday 20 May at 7.30pm. Doors open at 6.45pm.

Our TV Challenge Quiz is based on well-known TV quizzes and there is a cash prize for the winning team.


There will be a maximum of six people per team. Tickets, £5 per person or £2.50 for under 15s, are available from Carers Oxfordshire at 01235 520463 or email or via the Facebook Carers Oxfordshire page.


There will be a raffle in aid of family carers in Oxfordshire. Prizes include a Miele compact cleaner and a 24-inch HD TV. If you would like to donate a prize, please contact 01235 520463.

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Safe and Well visits

The Safe and Well visit is a totally free service offered by Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service.

If you would like us to we will visit you in your home to see what we can do to make you safer. We will have a chat with you around improving your health and wellbeing.

When we visit we will fit free smoke alarms and offer advice to make you and your family safer at home.

During the visit the fire service can offer you advice and support, providing simple interventions where they can, to reduce any immediate risk from falls, fire, flood or power cut and we can give advice to protect from scams and doorstep crime.


Here’s a short video about Safe and Well visits from the Chief Fire Officers Association. 

Whether you’re a professional working with a vulnerable client, or look after a friend or family member in their home, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service can help by answering your questions and providing support.

How to request a visit

Request a visit online at Telephone 08000 325 999 or email if you have any fire safety concerns or questions

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Sign up to the Practical Ways to Wellbeing courses

Practical Ways to Wellbeing course introduces some positive, practical strategies for improving wellbeing.

Details of the news/events

Mind new Practical Ways to Wellbeing course introduces some positive, practical strategies for improving wellbeing.
The free 4-week course will: define what wellbeing means to us, examine the link between physical and mental health, use the 5 Ways to Wellbeing to help identify ways we can improve our wellbeing and explore ways to accommodate these into everyday life.
This course will be suitable for anyone aged 16 or over looking to improve their own wellbeing.

Who is it for / Audience This course will be suitable for anyone aged 16 or over looking to improve their own wellbeing.

Locations and dates


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Carers photo competition

We are asking people to take a photo on how they perceive the image of caring

What is the Image of Caring?

That is the question that Carers Oxfordshire is asking as it launches its photo competition.

The competition, which is free to enter and open to everyone,

Kay Francis, Interim Head of Carers Support said: “Caring is such an amazing, fulfilling and challenging thing to do.  I hope the photographs will give us a better understanding of the issues faced by carers which can be hard to express in words alone.”

“Photographs say a thousand words and can capture powerful moments in a carers day to day lives”, said Tracey Desmond Marketing and Training Officer

Entrants can submit up to three images.

Entering photos:

To enter the competition, send your picture, and caption to or send in your photos to  Carers Oxfordshire, Level 2 The Charter, Abingdon , Oxon, OX14 3LZ    together with a your Name,  address, telephone number and email address.

The competition closes on Monday 14th November 2016

All photographs will be displayed at our Caring Matters Conference on the 25th November 2016 where the winner will be announced.

These can be colour or black and white images.  For full  details refer to our terms and conditions on our  website.

Please note maximum file size is 3MB, and maximum email size 7MB for email entries.

An optional (100 word maximum) description may be submitted with each photo . 


Carers Oxfordshire will display  photos at Caring Matters  Conference, Kassam Stadium on  25th November 2016.


Copyright and permissions

 By entering the competition:

Entrants agree that Carers Oxfordshire/ Age UK Oxfordshire may publish and exhibit their photographs in print and on websites and no fees will be payable for these uses. 

Entrants confirm that images have been taken with the consent of anyone who is identifiable in that image, and the person has been informed that the photograph may be published by Carers Oxfordshire/ Age UK Oxfordshire.  If the person in the photo is less than 16 years old, the consent of their parent/guardian must also have been given.  Written permissions must be available should Carers Oxfordshire/ Age UK Oxfordshire request to see them

Entrants warrant that the image submitted is their own work, that they own the copyright for it, and that they have not infringed the copyright of any third party or any laws.

Entrants confirm that the entries have not been published elsewhere and have not won a prize in any other competition.

Further information can be found on the Carers Oxfordshire Facebook page.

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Oxfordshire's Respite Offer

What is respite ?

Respite is alternative care or support for the cared for person to enable the carer to have a break from caring.

About our offer

The Oxfordshire Respite Offer sets out our priorities for respite and the actions we are committed to take to improve people's experience of respite.

The offer to carers and people they care for is based on taking action in four areas that people told us are important to them. These priority areas are:

Priority 1

We will describe what good respite looks like and implement the co-designed quality standards.

Priority 2

We will make it easier for people to find respite and work together to increase the range of options available for respite

Priority 3

We will make it easier for people to find out if they are eligible for respite and if they might be asked to pay for it.

Priority 4

Professionals across Oxfordshire, carers, people who use services and commissioners will have a shared understanding of Respite and Emergency Care.

What happens next?

To develop these priorities a two year action plan has been agreed. The actions are based on people's feedback about what we have already and what we need to develop, what works and what we need to improve the plan will be reviewed annually and published through this website.

One of the actions is to improve information and advice on respite and emergency care by spring 2017. This webpage will be a key part of this action.

More information

Read about the priorities and action plan at


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Rally round to support carers

A new online service is bringing together Oxfordshire carers to help their loved ones stay safe and well at home.

Rally Round is a free digital network which enables family members, friends and carers to create and organise support for themselves and the person they care for.

Rally Round, which is backed by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) and Carers Oxfordshire, was designed to help frail older people and their family carers, but can be used to help anyone who needs more practical support.

Watch the video:

Dr Barbara Batty, OCCG clinical lead for older people, said: "This is an exciting digital tool to make life easier for carers in Oxfordshire. It's like social media where new starters are supported to set up their own network.

"Individuals become part of the network by invitation only and can be family, close friends or professionals - so someone well-known and trusted.

"Rally Round promotes strong support networks which in turn help people stay out of hospital or reduce their dependence on care services."

Carers start by inviting friends and family to form a support network. They can all add things that need doing, discuss details and volunteer to help. Texts and emails alerts remind everyone in the in the network who is doing what and when things are done.

Catherine Blaxhall, Head of Carers Support at Carers Oxfordshire, said: "Rally Round is all about getting jobs done. A carer logs that their fence has blown down, for example, and asks if someone in their network can fix it.

"People on the network will know when somebody has agreed to do the task. It's helpful as carers are not sending repeated texts and making phone calls – saving time and stress. It can be easier for the carer to ask for help via a network rather than approaching an individual.

"Here in Oxfordshire the carers signed up to Rally Round have used it to help plan a hospital discharge for a cared for person with dementia; a parent carer with cancer is using it to organise for her disabled children to be helped to school and activities on the days she feels less well, and a working carer is using it to build up a network of support around her elderly mother. It is a wonderful resource for anyone needing support and has almost unlimited potential.”

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Carers Rights Day Caring Matters Conference 2016

Date: Friday, November 25, 2016 - 9am to 4pm
Venue: The Kassam Stadium, Grenoble Road, Oxford, OX4 4XP

If Caring Matters to you this conference is a must attend for both carers and professionals. Our event includes guest speakers, workshops and a chance to meet other carers.  

For more information email or call Tracey on 01235 520463.

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Talking Care - a new magazine for carers

Talking Care – is a new publication from the Oxfordshire Association of Care Providers. This 36-page magazine will reflect the many facets of social care around Oxfordshire. 

OACP has identified the need to provide educational and supportive information to assist those (18 -70 and over);

  • who are providing care
  • being cared for by close family, relatives,  friends or supportive organisations
  • who are seeking to support themselves living independently in their own homes
  • who are searching for care support services.

To do this effectively, OACP have developed a publication that reflects, highlights and brings together all aspects of social care provision across Oxfordshire - 'Talking Care' magazine


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Carers week 2016

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

You can find a range of events and activities from June 6-12. Why not try something new?

Caring can be very rewarding, but without the right support it can have a negative impact on your health, career, finances and relationships.

What is a carer?

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs   extra help as they grow older.

For some, taking on a caring role can be sudden: someone in your family has an accident or your child is born with a disability. For others, caring creeps up   unnoticed: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer or your partner’s health gradually worsens.

The amount and type of support that carers provide varies considerably. It can range from a few hours a week, such as picking up prescriptions and preparing meals, to providing care day and night.

Caring will touch each and every one of us in our lifetime, whether we become a carer or need care ourselves. Whilst caring can be a rewarding experience, it can also have a damaging impact on a person’s health, finances and relationships

Facts about carers

  • 6.5 million people in the UK are carers; that’s 1 in 8 adults
  • By 2037, it is estimated that the number of carers in the UK will rise to 9 million
  • Every day another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility – that equals over 2 million people every year
  • 58% of carers are women and 42% are men
  • Carers save the economy £132 billion per year, an average of £19,336 per carer
  • Over 3 million people juggle care with work, however the  significant demands of caring mean that 1 in 5 carers are forced to give up work.  
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Wear a splash of yellow to help support carers

Carers provide hours of unpaid care for ill, frail or disabled family members or friends often at a cost to their own health and well-being. One in eight of us is a carer, and many spend 50 hours or more a week caring while trying to juggle work .

Wear a splash of yellow during Carers Week to help shine a light on unpaid carers in Oxfordshire and donate £2 (or more) to join in. The money raised will help Carers Oxfordshire provide vital support for thousands of people providing unpaid care across Oxfordshire.

  • To donate, simply text OXON66 £2 TO 70070.
  • If you would like to donate more change the amount up to £25

Do something extraordinary in yellow and help us brighten the lives of people who are dedicated to caring for others.

Try something new for Carers Week

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Carers' Week - The Big Event

Help us to build carer friendly communities in Carers' Week

Event: The Big Event
Date: Thursday 9 June 10am-4pm
Venue: Abingdon Wellbeing Centre, Audlett Drive, Abingdon,OX14 3GD
Cost: FREE

Activities include:

  • Information fair and stalls
  • First aid course
  • Moving and handling course
  • Pottery
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Rally Round Launch - Rally Round is a FREE and easy way for Family and friends to come together and help a loved one stay safe and well at home.
  • Tea and coffee

More information

We can help organise care for your loved one if you need it to attend. To book in advance or for more information, contact 01235 520463 or

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Free art sessions

Discover your creativity!

Dates: Tuesdays 10.45-11.45am on 22 March and then from April 12- May 24
Location: Ark T Centre, Crowell Road, Cowley, Oxford OX4 3LN

Eight free sessions for those living with dementia and their carers to try something new.

Take some quality time together and create a special moment in time.

Discover the joys of making your own unique marks through a series of eight one hour workshops led by Creative Specialist Lizzie Burns and supported by Ark T’s Artist in Residence Cait Sweeney.

You do not need to feel creative as taking part promises to be fun – spending time with others, engaging in the moment and allowing your creativity to flourish.

Book a place

To book a place or for more information please email or telephone 07880 615 672

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