Carers Rights Day

Thursday November 23rd 2023

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Each year Carers UK promotes Carers Rights Day where we’re joined by hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals raising awareness of caring, helping to identify carers and signposting them to information, advice and support.

Whether someone has recently become a carer, realised they have been caring for a while without support or has been caring for someone for many years, it’s important they understand their rights and are able to access the support that is available to them whenever they need it.

Carers Rights Day empowers carers with information and support. It helps them to feel confident asking for what they need and challenge things when their rights are not being met, whether that be that in the workplace or education, in accessing health or social care, when interacting with other professionals or at home.

Your rights: today, tomorrow and in the future

If you are an unpaid carer, you’re entitled to certain rights which may help you access services, look after your health and wellbeing or could provide vital information and support in looking after your partner, family member or friend.

Carers UK constantly campaigns for better rights for the UK’s unpaid carers, including securing landmark new rights for those juggling work with their caring responsibilities. And we’ll carry on working  to see new or improved rights established, to help make life better for carers.

Your rights, right now

If you are juggling work with your caring responsibilities, you have the right to request flexible working. Carers UK has a range of information on what your rights are and how to make the request with your employer. Visit our website for more information.

If you provide unpaid care, you can ask your GP practice to identify you as a carer on your patient record and might be called forward for priority vaccines or other public health campaigns. Carers UK has information on how to talk to your GP – and even provides a useful letter template to download and use. You can find them on our website.

It’s essential to find ways to look after your health and wellbeing and one way is to exercise your right to request a free flu jab. If you are the main carer for an older or disabled person, who may be put at risk if you became ill, or if you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, you should be offered a free flu jab. Speak to your GP or local pharmacist or see our website. Carers are also a priority group for accessing Covid booster jabs this winter.

If you look after an older or disabled person, the law – under the Equality Act 2010 – protects you against direct discrimination or harassment because of your caring responsibilities. (In Northern Ireland carers are protected under the Human Rights Act and Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act.) Understanding your rights can be useful if you feel you have been treated unfairly because of your caring role – and you may also be protected under other laws including disability or sex discrimination legislation. You can read more on our website.

Many carers find it easier to continue in their caring role if they can get some assistance. If it appears that they have needs for support, they can have a carer’s assessment. In Scotland, this is usually referred to as an adult carer support plan and in Wales it is often called a carer’s needs assessment. If you’re over 18 and provide regular unpaid care for someone, you’re entitled to a carer’s assessment – it doesn’t matter how much or what sort of care you provide. Why not watch our animation on having a carer’s assessment?

If you are a carer and the person you care for is being discharged from hospital, the hospital must identify and consult with you, where possible. Carers UK has produced handy fact sheets for carers in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (including a Welsh language version) which explains your rights and what you can expect, helping relieve some of the stress that can occur when someone close to you has been in hospital.

New rights, right around the corner

The Carer’s Leave Act is something Carers UK has been campaigning for tirelessly for many years and we expect it will become law in 2024. It will give employees juggling work with unpaid care a legal right to request up to five days unpaid leave every twelve months, which will help many manage some of the day-to-day challenges of being a carer – enabling them to stay in employment.

With the introduction of the new Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act anyone, including unpaid will be able to ask their employer for changes to their working hours, times of work, or place of work, from day one. And being able to ask for a different flexible working arrangement more than once a year will be a huge help too. We expect the Act to become law in 2024.

We’ll continue to campaign for better rights for all carers

Carers UK is campaigning for a future where all carers are properly recognised, valued, and provided with the support they need to live a life beyond their caring responsibilities. We are working to achieve the following goals:

  • Greater recognition and support to identify as a carer.
  • Clear rights not to be discriminated against because of their caring responsibilities.
  • A fairer social security system which supports carers to live a life free from poverty.
  • Consistent recognition, involvement, and support from the NHS.
  • Access to good quality and affordable social care, including the ability to take a break from caring.
  • Better workplace support including a right to paid time off to care for a family member or friend.

If you want to keep up to date with our campaigns, please sign up here:

Caring Together AGM

We had the pleasure of welcoming a good number of our members, students from the Leeds University Union Music Impact in the Community, the Lord Mayor of Leeds and friends, Hilary Benn and some funders to our AGM Friday.

It is the first one in our premises! It was lovely, it was ended with some wonderful music followed by a cuppa and food.

Thank you everyone in the community for coming along and ‘Caring Together’, what a year.

Pedestrian Study – University of Leeds

The University have asked us to share this to see if anyone is interested in taking part.

They are conducting some research to investigate pedestrians’ crossing behaviour while interacting with Automated Vehicles and they are particularly looking for people aged 65 or over to take part.

The study will take approximately 1.5 hours in total, and participants will receive £20 in cash as a token of appreciation. They can also help with transport costs.

All participants need to:

•                     Have been in the UK for at least a year

•                     Be a regular pedestrian

•                     Aged between 18-35 or above 65 years old

•                     Have normal or corrected to normal vision

•                     Not be pregnant

•                     Not use any cardioactive medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, or anti hypertensives

•                     Not suffer from claustrophobia, severe motion sickness, feelings of disorientation, serious mobility problems affecting the back, knees and hips.

You can apply to take part here:


Volunteers week comes to a close today and we are reflecting on how much our volunteers do to help Caring Together.

Just in this last week our volunteers have:

  • Packed newsletters and inserts into envelopes for distribution
  • Hand delivered newsletters to more than half our members/supporters
  • Given talks at a reminiscence group
  • Worked on our remembrance garden and our allotment
  • Counted money boxes (donations from members and supporters)
  • Made teas and coffees at groups – and helped with the clear up
  • Oversaw the management of Caring Together as Trustees
  • Kept in touch with vulnerable or isolated members

This is just a snapshot of one week, our volunteers are here to help every other week of the year too.

Thank you to each and every one of you!!

Coronation Celebration

It was standing room only for a while at our Celebration Afternoon Tea this week!

Members enjoyed afternoon tea and we were entertained with live music thanks to students from Leeds University (LUUMIC)

As always, this was a communal effort, involving members and volunteers as well as our staff. Making decorations and setting up the space, contributing home made scones, cakes and coronation trifle, preparing food on the day as well as serving and keeping on top of the mountain of washing up, donating prizes and lots of other things to be used on the day, and turning up to support us. Everyone had a part to play.

We had several skill share sessions leading up to the event and this produced decorations for our window and tables.

Carers Rights Day 2022

There are 74,000 unpaid carers in Leeds. If you look after a partner, relative or friend who is disabled or ill due to physical or mental health, you are a carer, even if you don’t think of yourself as one.

Caring Costs unpaid carers in many ways, from carers’ wellbeing and ability to access health services, to costs to their finances and employment options, to the current cost of living crisis which is being felt even more acutely by carers throughout the UK. 

Find out about the emotional, practical and financial support available to you.

1001 Stories

Are you over 60 with a story to share?

1001 Stories is a mass-participation project that sits at the heart of Leeds’ 2023 Year of Culture.

“A collaboration between The Performance EnsembleLeeds PlayhouseLEEDS 2023Leeds Museums and Galleries and Leeds Older People’s Forum, the joint-project will put the voices, histories and stories of older people centre-stage by gathering 1001 stories from those aged 60 and over and creating new artistic work based on these stories.

We believe that everybody is creative and has a story to tell, this could be anything from a funny anecdote, to a milestone memory. Your story does not have to be a long one; if it is true and means something to you, then we want to hear it. 

Our aim is to present a vast range of experiences from the people of Leeds and to demonstrate that the stories of older people have cultural value – whether that is by making others laugh, think, feel or simply engage with a story that is different from their own.

Anyone over the age of 60 with a connection to Leeds is eligible to take part; whether you were born here, have previously lived or worked here, or currently call Leeds home.

If you are over 60 and have a story you would like to share – no matter how big or small, long or short, wild or everyday, we’d love to hear from you.”

You can find lots of information on The Performance Ensemble website including a link to submit a story online or you can view some of the stories so far

The team want to make 1001 Stories accessible so that as many people as possible can take part. If you need further assistance in submitting your story, or would like to discuss the project with the team, you can contact them directly using the details below.


Call or message: 07846 575377

Litter Free Leeds

Leeds Goes Purple


Friday 10th June – Sunday 12th June

Have you seen those purple bin bags dotted around your area?

If you didn’t know, they’re being filled up by local people who are doing litter picks in your area as part of Litter Free Leeds.

We all know litter is an eyesore and can be a danger to wildlife and pets. Each year 60,000 bags of litter are collected in Leeds by people ranging from individuals, families doing a quick pick as part of a day out or dog walk, to organised groups and even businesses wanting to do something to make a difference in their area.

Litter Free Leeds is organising a ‘Leeds Goes Purple’ weekend starting today and running until Sunday 12th June to celebrate the contributions being made across the city and to spread the news to anyone who wants to join in and do their bit in and around their local communities.

If you want to join in, contact your local group – Woodhouse Womblers – to get your purple bags.