A CHARITY has been awarded a £3 million contract to help locate 'hidden' carers in the Bradford district.

Funding from the NHS and Bradford Council means, from this Monday, Shipley-based Carers' Resource will be able to forge even stronger links with GPs and health professionals over the next three years to identify those who care for others and allow it to offer a more integrated service.

The charity's director Anne Smyth said its service would be like a "central hub with spokes" feeding into the community in a bid to reach carers earlier and give them tailor-made support to continue their caring role and have opportunities for social and leisure activities.

She said: “This is wonderful news for carers and for us as an organisation.

"It means we can now build on the vital work we are already doing to identify carers as soon as possible, and to give them all the support they need to help make what can be an overwhelming role that little bit more manageable.

“We already have a robust relationship with the primary-care sector with staff attending Integrated Care Team meetings so that carers can be recognised at an earlier stage.

"Caring can be such an isolating role as it can be hands on, 24/7, and this can cause depression, anxiety, health issues and have a massive impact on a carer’s well-being.

"Once we can find who the carers are – and they realise that they are carers – we can then begin to look at their situation and work towards finding solutions that work for them."

Under the contract for the new integrated carers service, three carers support workers from Carers Connection and two advocates from Mencap will be joining Carers' Resource.

The range of services outlined in Carers' Resource new contract, will also include giving emotional and practical carer support, helping carers plan for emergencies, empowering carers to find the best possible option, promoting the voice of carers, supporting professionals and raising caring awareness and helping make caring be a positive experience through access to breaks, education, leisure and employment, including carers getting small personal budget grants.

Carers’ Resource has about 11,000 carers on its database but there is an estimated 50,000 carers in the Bradford district.

To find out more about the charity and its services contact 01274 449660, visit carersresource.org or email info@carersresource.org