Across the UK today 6.5 million people are carers, supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill. Many are stretched to the limit – juggling care with work and family life, or even struggling with poor health ourselves – and don’t know how or where to get help (source: Carers UK).
If you are a male carer or care for a male, the organisations below may be able to provide you with valuable information, advice and support.
- General Support
- Older People
- Mental Health
- Cancer & Other Life-threatening Illnesses
- Social Services Complaints Advocacy
Carers Support Centre
The Carers Support Centre can provide you with any advice, information or support you might need. They provide a telephone Carers Line staffed by trained and experienced advisers, run local support groups, organise events and activities and can give you information about local services, rights and legislation. If you need help call their Carers Line on 0117 965 2200, or for further information about the Carers Support Centre please click here to visit their website.
Carers UK is a national charity which provides a number of services for carers. Their carers' helpline is manned five days a week and is available to all carers no matter where you are in the UK. They can provide advice about all financial and practical matters relating to caring, and also carry out benefits checks. Call 0808 808 7777, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm. There is also a 'listening service' which enables you to talk through your caring situation with a trained volunteer who understands what you are going through. This is available on Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9am to 7pm. For further information please click here to visit the Carers UK website.
Age UK Bristol
Age UK Bristol works to improve the lives of older people in Bristol through a range of different services, including an advocacy service to support older people affected by cancer, and a telephone befriending service for people who live alone. To find out more about these service call 0117 929 7537, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to visit the Age UK Bristol website.
Bristol Black Carers
Bristol Black Carers supports carers and those whom they care for. They provide regular support group meetings, organise trips and activities to give carers a break and can offer support, advice and information, either over the phone, in their offices or through home visits. For further information call 0117 379 0084 or click here to visit their website.
Dhek Bhal's aim is to promote the health and social wellbeing of South Asian people living in Bristol. They provide support, advice and information to South Asian carers through bi-monthly meetings held on Wednesdays. These sessions offer carers an opportunity to meet other carers in similar situations as themselves and to provide mutual support, friendship and information. Activities, courses and outings are also incorporated into these sessions. For further information call 0117 9146671, 9548885 or 9556971, or click here to visit the Dhek Bhal website.
Rethink Mental Illness
If you are caring for someone affected by mental illness you might want to join one of Rethink’s local support groups:
A support group for siblings of those affected by mental illness meets in central Bristol on one Wednesday every month from 7.30pm-9.30pm. Call 07542 706502 for further information.
The Southmead Rethink Carers Group meets at the Dorian Day Unit at Southmead Hospital on the first Thursday of every month from 6pm – 7.30pm. Call 0117 9031803 or 07967 811146 for further information.
Rethink also run an education programme for family members and friends of people with mental ill health called 'Caring and Coping'. This is specifically designed for those new to mental health services or with a recent caring role. You can learn more about diagnoses, treatments and local services; meet other carers and talk to professionals; develop practical skills in communication, problem solving, boundary setting and looking after yourself. It is free to Bristol residents and family members of those using services in the city. For more information call 0117 903 1803 or email email@example.com.
Mental Health Support Groups & Services
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust maintain a list of national and regional mental health support groups and services on their website which includes groups and services for carers. To access the list please click here.
Alzheimer's Society Carer Information & Support
The Alzheimer's Society's carer information and support programme offers information sessions in a group environment where carers can share experiences and identify local services. For further information contact the Society's Bristol & South Glos office on 0117 961 0693 or email Bristol@alzheimers.org.uk.
Growing Support is a Bristol-based social enterprise which works to tackle loneliness, social isolation and the negative effects of inactivity by providing people with opportunities to socialise and spend more time outdoors. They work alongside dementia carers to deliver social and therapeutic horticulture activity sessions and encourage carers to attend their gardening groups. For more information call 07581 281 578 or click here to visit the Growing Support website.
Bristol Area Stroke Foundation
Bristol Area Stroke Foundation offers support to carers as well as the person affected by stroke. Services include: information and guidance, counselling, opportunities to meet other carers, help with arranging breaks for carers, and occasional carers' days. For further information call 0117 964 7657 or click here to visit the BASF website.
If you are a carer looking after someone with cancer, Macmillan Cancer Support provide a range of free, expert and easy to understand resources which cover both the emotional and practical aspects of supporting someone. Topics include: tips on how carers can look after themselves, guidance for young carers, advice about how to look after someone with advanced cancer, and information about finances, work and rights. These guides can be downloaded through the Macmillan website by clicking here.
The Harbour is a Bristol-based charity providing free counselling and psychotherapy to people affected by a life-threatening physical illness, including carers. For further information call 0117 925 9348 or click here to visit their website.
If you are unhappy with the quality of care the person you are caring for is receiving from social services, the Care Forum offers a complaints procedure advocacy service. For further information call 0808 808 5252 or click here to visit the Care Forum's Advocacy Services webpage.
To find other local information and support, please click here to search the Well Aware database.
We have provided information about call charges for each organisation listed where this is known. Where no call charge details are shown, please refer to the following general information:
- Calls to all numbers starting 01, 02 and 03 are charged at local rate (up to 9p per minute) from landlines and from 8p to 40p from mobiles
- Calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers are free from landlines but could cost up to 40p from mobiles
- Calls to 0844 numbers cost between 1p and 13p from landlines and from 5p to 41p from mobiles
- Calls to 0845 numbers cost between 1p and 12p from landlines and from 5p to 40p from mobiles.