A recent survey undertaken by the Carers UK charity highlights that 70% of UK carers are providing more care than usual due to closures or reductions of local services during the Coronavirus pandemic. The survey also revealed that 55% of unpaid carers are feeling overwhelmed by the extra responsibility.
Within Surrey there are an estimated 115,000 unpaid carers, aged between five and 95 years old, which are likely affected by temporary changes to regular carer support and respite services. During these uncertain times, there is still a range of help services available which Surrey residents can call upon.
Surrey County Council Community Helpline
This helpline has been set up to help residents, if family or friends are unable to, with picking up shopping and prescriptions. There is also a telephone befriending service for people who are vulnerable and isolated.
The helpline number is 0300 200 1008, which is open Mondays to Fridays between 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays and Sundays between 10am to 2pm. Deaf and hearing-impaired residents can text on 07860 053 465.
There is also specific Coronavirus advice for carers on the Surrey County Council website.
Local help for carers
Action for Carers Surrey is providing a wide range of 'at distance' support for carers of all ages, including those under 18, who are encouraged to check how they can be supported during this time.
In particular, carers who are under 70 and would like to shop during the special vulnerable and elderly shopping hours set aside by some supermarkets, can obtain a letter from the charity which supports this request.
For information on special opening hours and volunteer payment card schemes for specific supermarkets, call 0303 040 1234.
Crossroads Surrey is still offering care and companionship by telephone, as well as practical help with things like shopping, prescription collections or even dog walking if carers can’t leave the cared for person alone.
Age UK Surrey is also offering check in and chat calls to carers across the county, as well as help with emergency shopping.