A BRADFORD charity which supports unpaid carers has welcomed long-awaited legal reforms which recognise the important role of carers and their right to get support.

The new Care Act 2014 comes into force today and for the first time adult carers’ needs are on an equal footing with the needs of the adults they look after.

Anne Smyth OBE, Director of the Carers’ Resource, which has an office in Shipley and supports more than 12,000 carers across Yorkshire, said the rights and recognition of unpaid carers are now strengthened and embodied in the Act.

“This is about changing culture. The Act – which is the biggest reform for carers in 60 years - is already being dubbed The Carers’ Act and will put carers on an equal footing. It is a new dawn for carers. Carers will be entitled to have their own person-centred assessment of their needs irrespective of the needs of the person they care for and can receive a range of services in their own right.”


The new law places a duty on local authorities, and those they choose to work with, to consider wellbeing principles such as the impact a caring role can have on an individual’s health, day-to-day life, relationships and ability to work or pursue hobbies.

Services could now also be delivered to the adult being cared for to help meet the health and wellbeing needs of the carer – an important example of this being respite.

Anna Jackson, Head of Development at Carers’ Resource, said: “If a carer is struggling to balance their own needs, such as staying in work or enjoying family time, with their caring role they should come and talk to us about the new rights the Act brings in and how this could help them.

“A lot of carers we speak to and support say they are overwhelmed, feel isolated and are struggling to find any time for themselves – even to have their hair cut – this Act will help to address this and gives a greater importance to the basic needs and wishes of the carer.

Staff at Carers’ Resource, which offers a range of tailor-made services for unpaid carers - including offering information about wider support on offer; help and advice on training, education and employment; have all been trained on the new Act.

To find out more go to carersresource.org or telephone the Bradford office on (01274) 449660 or the Skipton office on (01756) 700888.