What we do

Suffolk Family Carers is an established charity, helping family carers of all ages across Suffolk get the support they need to live fuller lives.

For nearly 30 years, we have provided information, advice and support to thousands of family carers. Our credible representation of family carers’ needs and our valued work in supporting family carers enables us to campaign on issues that affect family carers to ensure their voice is heard. We will keep driving change across society to enable family carers to have a life of their own alongside their caring role.

We are here to help

There are over 78,000 identified carers living in Suffolk. For thousands more, looking after an ill, older or disabled loved one doesn’t have a name, it is ‘just something you do.’

Our loved ones are living longer with illness or disability, and more and more of us are looking after them. Whether round-the-clock or for a few hours a week, in our own home or for someone at the other end of a motorway – caring can have a huge effect on us, our lives and our plans.

Caring is such an important part of life. It’s simply part of being human. Carers are holding families together, enabling loved ones to get the most out of life, making an enormous contribution to society and saving the economy billions of pounds.

Yet many family carers do not recognise they are carrying out a caring role and this can be a real barrier to accessing vital support. Our information line handles over 7,000 calls a year form family carers and provides advice and support in a solution focussed way. Our Advisers complete Carers Assessments in partnership with Suffolk County Council.

For some it’s sudden: someone you love is taken ill or has an accident, your child is born with a disability. For others, caring creeps up unnoticed: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer, your partner’s health gets gradually worse.

Every day another 6,000 children and adults across the UK will take on a caring responsibility – that equates to over 2 million people each year.

What we do

Caring can be extremely complicated. The maze of rights and entitlements can be complicated. Filling in paperwork can be complicated. Trying to organise a break can be complicated. Our feelings about caring can certainly be complicated.

We’re here to make sure that no matter how complicated your query or your experience, you don’t have to care alone.

99% of family carers felt that Suffolk Family carers listened and gave them information and advice to empower them to make informed decisions about their caring role.

We provide innovative services, often ahead of the field. Our work with young carers in now long established and well respected in over 90 schools and colleges across Suffolk. We have support workers in all the hospitals across Suffolk and GP surgeries in West Suffolk to identify and support family carers. We introduced the ‘Carer Friendly Hospital’ award for hospitals to recognise the needs of the family carer alongside the patient. Our work within the sphere of mental health and wellbeing is considered exemplary by family carers and practitioners alike.

How we are run

The team of over 70 staff and around 100 volunteers at Suffolk Family Carers is directed by Kirsten Alderson, our Chief Executive with support from the Senior Management Team.

We hold our Annual General Meetings in the autumn where we present our Annual Report & Accounts and members of the public are welcome to attend.