London Youth Bronze Quality Award

London Youth Bronze Quality Award

After 10 months of hard work, we are excited to celebrate that our Young Carers Team was awarded the London Youth Bronze Quality Mark! It is a nationally recognised quality mark that is accredited to organisations that deliver the highest standard of youth work across London.

What is the Bronze award for?

The Bronze Quality Mark is a quality assurance framework that provide youth organisations with a badge of excellence. The process is comprehensive and is based on a variety of criteria such as outcomes and aims for young people, safeguarding, diversity and inclusion, health and safety, partnerships, leadership and charity governance.

London Youth’s goal for organisations is for a journey of continually improving polices, procedures and programmes following best practice.

If you would like more information on on our Young Carers service please email:

Read our latest newsletter

Read our latest newsletter

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Taking care of your own wellbeing when caring for someone

Taking care of your own wellbeing when caring for someone

As a carer it is so easy to put the needs of the person you are caring for before your own. But as the saying goes you can not pour from an empty cup. If you don’t take care of yourself as well you will be no good to yourself let alone others. You could experience depression or even burn out. Therefore it is very important to look after your own wellbeing when caring for someone. This includes taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing.

Caring for someone can be very stressful, which is why it is imperative that you take care of yourself and practise stress management. Yoga can be so helpful to help with sleep and stress. It is a form of exercise with stretching and poses and breathing that can clear the mind and strengthen the  body. This can be done online in zoom. Therefore you do not have to worry about travelling to a location, especially as this may not be possible with the demands of caring for someone.

Meditation is also great for relaxation and to help de stress. It is also excellent as it is known to help shift anxiety and depression.

Having good mental health and taking care of your own mental health is crucial when caring for someone.

Harrow Carers have a mental health support group, which is also online.

We also hold a  carers tea and coffee zoom group. Support groups are very useful as you meet people who are carers like you, and you can exchange tips and coping strategies. You can talk about your problems and share your experiences with others. It makes you realise that you are not on your own.

If you feel like you need to speak to someone privately and professionally or if your mental and emotional health is suffering, it is important to seek support earlier than later through talking therapy. It is a safe confidential space to get things off your chest and work to finding solutions with someone who is on your side  and who is there to listen. Harrow Carers offer free and affordable counselling sessions for unpaid carers.

Self care is often a term that gets thrown about. Its not just airy fairy. Self care is about you prioritising time for you. It is valuable time spent on taking care of yourself. It could be keeping up with your own dental and medical or hospital appointments. Ensuring that you are looking after your own health as well is important even though you are a carer. To take care of your own wellbeing have a good diet, eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Rest when possible.

Do things you enjoy like reading and watching television to relax. Keep active.

Seek support from family members so you can take a break from the caring role sometimes.

Unpaid cares sometimes have paid carers who come in a few days a week, so they can have some time off. This can be helpful to go to visit the bank and do food shopping. Paying a carer may not always be feasible especially with rising cost of living at the moment. Therefore seeking support from a friend or family member can be beneficial once or twice a week so that you can have some time to yourself.

It may be difficult to balance taking care of yourself and  your wellbeing when caring for someone else because of the demanding nature of the caring role. But like stated above if this is not done it can lead to  mental health problems,  poor physical health and possibly burn out.

With support groups and exercise and self care it is possible to take care of your wellbeing when caring for someone, especially when this is made a priority. Harrow Carers is an organisation that is there to support unpaid carers. Please get in contact with us to support your care needs as a carer.

By Natalie Reuben 

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

The Dilemma for Carers: Work or Stay at home

The Dilemma for Carers: Work or Stay at home

In recent weeks the political system has endured a whirlwind of changes as Rishi Sunak becomes the latest prime minster to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. Along with a new prime minster, Steve Barclay has been newly appointed as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. As such, questions are raised as to what the new government will do to support carers, at a time where they are facing huge pressures.

Currently, if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week you are entitled to a Carer’s Allowance of £69.70. However, to many this is not enough to cover the burdening economic pressures in terms of bills and increasing prices. On the other hand, the carer’s allowance could be lost if carers take on work, placing carers in a difficult position.

If carers do take on work, they may have to reduce their work hours to manage their additional caring responsibilities. As a consequence, carers will receive a reduced income, during a time of economic instability.

The dilemma for carers, to work or to stay at home and rely upon an allowance is raised by Ed Davey, party leader of the Liberal Democrats. Ed Davey was a carer himself, and his experiences has helped shape his politics and perspectives. He argues that unpaid carers were left out of the Conservatives’ white paper proposals for social care, the Autumn 2022 Covid vaccine booster programme, and now out of Rishi Sunak’s cost-of-living package. As Carer’s Allowance remains the lowest benefit of its kind, Ed Davey urges an increase in payment by £1000 a year to support carers in tackling the increased petrol prices, energy bills and food prices.

Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, has also had experience as a carer. At the age of 10 years old Angela became the main carer for her mum, who suffers from mental health issues. She advocates for an updated National Strategy for Carers to ensure that unpaid carers get the help and support they need. This would include raising Carer’s Allowance for full-time unpaid carers in line with Job Seekers’ Allowance.

Indeed, there are valuable projects out there which support unpaid carers into work, reducing the reliance upon the Carer’s Allowance. For instance, ‘Working for Carers’ supports unpaid carers to move closer to employment. The project has created a series of factsheets for carers, including ‘Carers’ rights at work’ and ‘Flexible working’.

There has also been an introduction of one week of additional unpaid leave for carers. Millions of people across the UK who are currently providing unpaid care to dependant family members or friends will be entitled to unpaid leave under new laws backed by the government. This law will enable unpaid carers to enjoy a better balance of working and undergoing their caring responsibilities, helping reduce the dilemma of whether to work or stay at home.

By Tabitha DesmondWorking for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. 


Planning ahead: what you need to know about end-of-life care

Planning ahead: what you need to know about end-of-life care

Understandably it can be daunting to make plans for end-of-life care. However, planning ahead can help reassure you and the person you are caring for that their wishes will be followed. It helps you and the person you care for feel more in control and creates a sense of comfort when looking towards the future. Additionally, it will benefit you and your wider family, helping avoid a lot of anxiety and potential family disagreement later on.

Here is some practical information that can be valuable when thinking about end-of-life care:

Mental Capacity

It is critical to recognise when the individual you care for may lack decision-making capacity.

Mental capacity is about being able to make your own decisions and is decision and time specific.

The person you care for will will lack mental capacity to make a decision at a particular time if they have an “impairment or disturbance of the mind or brain” for example, they have dementia or a stroke.

It is important to understand that just because someone intends to make a decision with which you disagree with or believe is unwise, it does not mean they are unable to make a decision.

Questions to ask

Consider the following points while discussing future planning with the person you are caring for:

– Where do they want to be cared for in the future?

– Who do they want to spend time within the future?

– Would they like to appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf if they lack the mental capacity to do so?

– Do they have any requests when it comes to planning their funeral? E.g., whether they want a religious service or not

– Are there any additional practical considerations they should bear in mind? E.g., pet care, handling of bank accounts

Advance Statement

In the event that the person you care for becomes ill and requires care and treatment, an advance statement allows them to record their wishes, beliefs, and values such as where they wish to be cared for. Anyone making a decision on behalf of the individual must consider this statement.

The statement does not need to be signed, but a signature would be preferable to link the person to the words written.

Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT)

Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT) is a written statement of wishes the person you care for has to refuse a particular treatment in a particular situation. This can be valuable in making sure that everyone knows what treatments are not wanted if the person becomes unable to communicate this.

It does not cost anything to produce a ADRT, and a solicitor is not required.


– Please see the NHS End of life Care guide for more detailed information on planning for end-of-life care.

– Dying Matters is a charity that aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life. They provide of useful resources from detailed leaflets to podcasts.

My future wishes focuses on advance planning for people living with dementia.

By Tabitha Desmond

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.