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Free helpline supporting 'hidden carers' extended

A free helpline that supports ‘hidden’ carers has been extended until the end of the year.

The Berkshire-wide freephone, run by East Berkshire and Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups with Signal4Carers, will now be open until the end of December.

The helpline is dedicated to supporting people who carry out caring responsibilities but do not recognise themselves as carers.

Debbie Hartrick, East Berkshire CCG associate director for safeguarding, said: “With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that people who are looking after a family member, friend or anyone in a caring role, know how to seek support when they need it.”

Many of the hidden carers in Berkshire feel like they are carrying out ordinary responsibilities for their friends or family members, and may not be aware of the support that is available to them.

If they call the freephone number, 08001337851, carers will be offered support and information.

Mark Sanders of Signal4Carers added: “Signal4Carers is pleased to have the opportunity to host the pilot freephone number to try and find carers who may need a small amount of support or advice when caring for a relative or friend in the community.

“It is important for them to feel supported, as caring for someone can be a stressful time for the family”

The helpline is open from 10am until 4pm from Monday to Friday. You can leave a message on evenings and weekends.

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