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01254 688440

Bringing carers and the carers service together as expert partners to ensure carers needs, wishes and feelings are at the heart of everything we do

About us

A Carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without their help. Taking on a caring role can mean facing a life of poverty, isolation, frustration, ill health and depression. Many Carers give up an income, future employment prospects and pension rights. Many Carers also work and are trying to juggle jobs alongside undertaking a caring role. We operate an ‘open door’ policy, so even if you enquire about our service but find not for you, we will do our very best to signpost you to the correct services.


A Carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without their help. Taking on a caring role can mean facing a life of poverty, isolation, frustration, ill health and depression. Many Carers give up an income, future employment prospects and pension rights. Many Carers also work and are trying to juggle jobs alongside undertaking a caring role. We operate an ‘open door’ policy, so even if you enquire about our service but find not for you, we will do our very best to signpost you to the correct services.

There are almost 6 million Carers in the UK with an estimated 13 million people expected to become Carers in the next decade. Over 1.25 million Carers provide over 50 hours per week of care and 42% of the Carers are men. The value of the work that Carers do is currently estimated at £119 billion per annum. The 2011 census in Blackburn with Darwen revealed that there were 15,756 self-identifying carers in the Borough and over 4,000 of these people provided more than 50 hours per week of care. Of carers caring for more than 50 hours a week:
  • 1 in 3 report depression
  • 1 in 2 report disturbed sleep
  • 1 in 4 report back and other strains
  • 40% have significant stress levels
  • 3 in every 4 carers are worse off financially as a result of caring
  • Only 25% of carers have had a ‘Carers Assessment’ and over 50% were unaware they have an entitlement to an assessment of their own needs, as a ‘Carer’.

Unfortunately many carers do not identify that they are a carer, although they may identify themselves as a concerned other, and can identify that their lives are impacted through a family member or friends illness or disability, such as:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • Mental ill health issues
  • Drugs and/or Alcohol issues

As a Carers Service we understand all too well the impact that these issues can have on carers and because of this we work tirelessly to identify and support carers and concerned others to ensure they have early help and support without the need for issues to reach a crisis point.


The Carers Service aims to offer support to all carers within the Blackburn with Darwen area. The Service began in 2004 and was founded by carers, for carers, and was under the management of the Council for Voluntary Service – At this time we had 3 staff and no volunteers . The service became a company in 2006 and then gained independence in April 2007, becoming a registered charity in July 2007. The service continues to be a network member of the Carers Trust formally known as The Princess Royal Trust for Carers.   As a registered charity the service initially received funding from voluntary donations, Blackburn with Darwen Social Services, Blackburn with Darwen Primary Care Trust (PCT) and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (PRTC).  At this time we had 9 staff and 5 volunteers. In March 2011 we moved into our new premises at Kingsway (at the bottom of Montague Street in Blackburn).  From here we work one to one with carers, provide quality activities and events, and oversee the many carers support groups that are held within the building. We are very proud to say that we also now have our very own beautifully decorated Olive Branch café/restaurant, of which is open to carers and the general public.  The Restaurant fully supports people with special needs or learning difficulties with volunteering opportunities. During 2012 and up until March 2013 the service focused on working out in the community with an even more individual approach to our carers.  By giving our carers one to one support, as well as providing opportunities to meet with other carers, our overarching aim is to support carers to enable them to continue in their invaluable role.  At this time we had 14 staff and 10 volunteers. 2013 to present – Many changes have occurred between this period:
  • We now have a new  carers assessment which focuses on providing carers advisers with a full picture of how carers can be supported – not just papering over the cracks – open door policy
  • We now have a new database that will really support the team and subsequently carers as this will provide us with excellent information for working with carers in real time and also will provide valuable information for reporting purposes and to identify areas for future development.
  • A new website will be in place by Sept 2014 that will provide very clear and concise information about everything that the service offers to carers.
  • We now have a volunteer co-ordinator in place, of which has resulted in many more volunteers volunteering to support the services we offer, especially our new befriending scheme, of which again, supports carers longer term.
  • Work is also being undertaken to develop the restaurant arm of the service into a social enterprise
  • New trustees have come forward who have a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise.
  • New fundraising arm – Crafty Crazy Crafts – Need link here
  • The service now has 16 staff and approximately 40 volunteers and still growing.

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Chief Exective Officer –  Sam Morris

Head of Services – Clare Hobley

Finance Officer – Gillian Ingham

Our Reception Team – Carol Beardsworth and Rashida Ahmed

Our team of Advisers:  

Yasmin Khalil

Parveen Awan

Vicky Bentley

Older Persons Adviser – Sonia Stevens

Darwen and Rural Adviser – Anna Frankland

Drug and Alcohol Adviser – Michael Strahan

Young Adult Adviser – Kellie Slinn

Activity Worker – Kulsum Chishti

Volunteer Co-ordinator – Kiran Sadiq

Benefit Adviser based at Shelter – Claire Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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