James, 35, carer for his mum, on getting back to work whilst continuing to care.
Over the years there have been a number of services that have helped me as I’ve transitioned from being a full-time carer to a working carer. Before seeking full time work, I received Carers Allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions, and whilst this was not a significant amount it did help me to manage financially during a difficult period. I also received short term support from Devon Carers which enabled me to spend time away from my caring role. This was critical in regards to being able to organise myself and look for/apply for work.
Receiving employment advice from the Carers UK advice line helped me understand that I have rights as a carer, and that these rights are protected in the Care Act 2014. Carers UK encouraged me to find an employer that was empathetic and supportive of my caring role.
Being able to read and discuss issues with other carers on the forum was handy as, like many carers, I experienced guilt, frustration, and social isolation as a result of my caring role. Being able to discuss these issues, and hear other carers experiences, helped me to realise that these kinds of emotional impacts are common. Knowing that I was not alone in facing these issues made my caring role much easier to deal with.