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Carer's FAQ

A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a friend, neighbour or relative who could not manage otherwise because of frailty, illness or disability. This may include helping with personal care, medication, cooking, shopping, housework and giving emotional support. Carers can be:

  • male or female
  • any age (including children looking after an ill or disabled parent, brother or sister)
  • from any ethnic, religious or racial background and of any sexual orientation
  • in part-time or full-time employment

Many people do not recognise themselves as carers. They are parents, grandparents, children, partners, friends or neighbours doing what needs to be done to maintain the quality of life for those they are looking after. They may not realise that support is available to help them in their caring role.

You are a carer if you look after, or help to look after, a family member, friend or neighbour who needs help due to illness, frailty or disability. Both children and adults can be carers. The help carers give is informal and unpaid (this does not exclude carers receiving Carer’s Allowance), we would therefore not consider you a carer if you are a professional who has been employed as a care worker or a foster carer (unless you are fostering a child with a disability or special need). You do not have to be receiving Carer’s Allowance (CA) to be a carer. In fact many carers do not qualify for CA, as the eligibility rules are restrictive. For example, both parents of a child with a disability would be considered carers, but only one parent would be able to claim CA – this does not stop both of them being carers. You do not have to live with the person you care for to be considered their carer. Nor do you have to be the only, or main, carer - a person may have several carers amongst their family and friends.

Your role as a carer will depend on the person you care for but could include:

  • Practical household tasks (cooking, cleaning, washing up, ironing, dealing with correspondence and financial management)
  • Personal care (bathing, dressing, lifting, administering medication, collecting prescriptions, support to attend medical appointments)
  • Emotional Support (listening, offering advice and friendship, keeping an eye on the person you care for to ensure their personal safety)

The evidence that is needed to enable the carer support coordinator to write a support plan for you whilst at university must document the caring role of the student not the condition of the person being cared for:

  • A letter from a Doctor or Consultant detailing he caring role
  • A local authority carer assessment
  • A letter from a Carers Centre
  • DWP correspondence regarding withdrawal of Carers Allowance due to starting University
  • A solicitors letter

No. Everyone’s caring situation is different. Carers can have different types of caring responsibilities and can care for different lengths of time. Some carers, but not all, receive or are entitled to claim Carers Allowance. Some carers may be in part-time or full-time employment or undertake voluntary work. Some carers/young carers may be at school, college or university No matter what your caring situation is, the carers support service can offer you help and support.

Due to the unpredictable nature and demands of caring roles, students may be provided with a Carers’ Support Plan which provides leeway in relation to assignment deadlines, tutor contact and attendance but not exams and in accordance of 3.12 of the Student Participation Policy.

The plan may consider or suggest adjustments but will not make recommendations around placement support, international visits, field trips or residential requirements as we recognise that these may be difficult to put in place. The University recognises the importance of placements and co-curricular activity and the Carer Co-ordinator will work with the student carer to source appropriate experiences and placements but we cannot guarantee that support for the students caring responsibilities will be available on placement and during some co-curricular activity.

The plan will be written during a meeting between the Carer Support Coordinator and the carer taking in individual need and a limited number of criteria.

Yes you can. We have a dedicated Carer Support Coordinator, Jane Hopkinson. Through our carer support service, we are able to assist with many of the challenges and pitfalls you might face in coming to university. It is recommended that you contact Jane to discuss your application, even if you feel you don't require our service, as you may not be aware of the support that is available to you.

Yes. Carers can gain regular support from our carer support coordinator and student life services at the University of Salford. We can ensure that you have regular contact with our carer support coordinator by setting meetings at times and between intervals that suit you. The university is committed to offering support for all students, no matter what challenges you may be facing, as we would like for you to gain the most from your studies, and time here. Click here to book an appointment

Yes with your consent, we would like to work with your local carers centre on your behalf, as this can ensure that we can offer the best and most appropriate support, for your needs. It is not university policy to disclose any information that you do not wish us to, though any information we do receive from you or your organisation is protected under the Data Protection Act (1998).

Yes, we can. The university can offer you assistance, if required, in gaining effective and accessible childcare in the local area, so you're always nearby. We will also take any childcare arrangements into consideration, in defining what support we can offer you, to ensure that you and your family can be taken care of during your studies at Salford.

The university can keep you informed of the support that is available to you via email, phone, postal or through regular contact with your carer support coordinator. This ensures that you are up to date with upcoming events and workshops that may be of interest to you, whilst giving you information on additional services and support.

Carers Trust is a major new charity for, with and about carers. We work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.

We do this with Network Partners – a unique network of 116 independent carers centres, 55 Crossroads Care schemes and 99 young carers services. Together we are united by a shared vision for carers – to make sure that quality assured information, advice and practical support are available to all carers across the UK.

Our vision is of a world where the role and contribution of unpaid carers is recognised and they have access to the trusted quality support and services they need to live their own lives.

What do we do?

Together with our Network Partners, we provide access to desperately-needed breaks, information and advice and education, training and employment opportunities. We help carers to maintain their own health and wellbeing and support them so they do not feel isolated. We run play and support schemes for young carers. Our Network Partners benefit from the provision of grants, our work to improve carers services and we help carers make their needs and voices heard and provide someone to talk to, in person and online.

Carers website:

Babble (for young carers under 18):

Matter (for carers aged 16-25):

Unfortunately NO ... if you are a carer in receipt of Carers' Allowance and Income Support you are unable to continue claiming this support when in full time studies at university. Please see link below for further help available with finances at university.

There is not a national register for carers but you may wish to let some agencies know that you are a carer, for example: The carer support service at university has a registration form which you should complete to let us know you are studying here

You may wish to tell your GP that you are a carer. You may wish to ask social services for a carer’s assessment. A carer’s assessment is not an assessment of your capability to care but an assessment of how you can best be supported in your caring role. This may include help to get a break, aids and adaptations, and emergency planning.

No. Staff in the carers support service are not trained to advise carers about welfare benefits, but they can signpost carers to agencies that can provide this advice.

We always recommend that carers seek specialist advice before claiming welfare benefits.

Carers Support has a webpage for further information or you can contact the service directly;

Please email

Or telephone Jane (the Carer Support Coordinator) on 0161 295 0023

If you don't live in the same area as the person you care for then it is the duty of the local authority of the person with the disability or health condition to support both them and you as their carer. This includes offering you a carer’s assessment and then providing any services or help that they assess you as needing. So, if you live in Salford but the person you care for lives in Liverpool, Liverpooll’s city council is responsible for your carer’s assessment and support.

The Carers Support Service supports carers studying at Salford but we would always recommend that you contact a carers support organisation based in the same borough/county as the person you care for, as they will be the experts in local services. We will be happy to give you the contact details of an appropriate carers support organisation, although not all services will support carers who do not live in their area.

Being a carer can be challenging and having someone to talk to who is not part of the situation can be a great help. The Carer Support Coordinator can help and support where they can but if you need further more emotional support then askUS has the following services: