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Family and friend carers

If you provide unpaid support to someone who couldn’t manage without your help because of old age, a disability, an illness, mental health problems or an addiction, then you are one of 72,000 family and friend carers living in West Sussex.

Caring for someone

Carers provide an invaluable service to the people they care for and this section provides you with useful information and resources to support you.

In this section you will find advice on maintaining your own physical and mental wellbeing, details of organisations that can provide practical help and support so you can have a well-earned break, and information about services and equipment that can help you and the person you care for.

Short break provision for carers

There are services available to support carers to look after their own health and wellbeing. Go to the section 'Looking after your own health and wellbeing' for more information.

Emergency back-up services

Emergency back-up services can make sure the person you care for is looked after if you are suddenly unable to care for them.

Carer Emergency Contact Card (CECC)

Previously known as the Carer Emergency Alert Card, the Carer Emergency Contact Card (CECC) offers peace of mind to family and friend carers and supports them to develop a carer contingency plan, in advance, in case of an accident or an emergency. The CECC provides the following benefits:

  • Carers have access to 24-hour telephone response service
  • Opportunity for stronger contingency planning in case of emergency
  • Identifies you as a carer
  • Offers peace of mind as a carer
  • Discounts and special offers across West Sussex.

How to apply for a card

Anyone who looks after a family member, friend, or neighbour in West Sussex can apply for a card by registering with Carers Support West Sussex.  Once registered, you can request the CECC referral form which asks you for relevant information helpful in the event of an emergency, such as details about yourself, the person you care for, their medical needs and any emergency contingency plan that may already be in place.

Once your referral is complete, Carers Support West Sussex will issue your personal CECC card with details about the service in the post.

Please visit Carers Support West Sussex website for more details. Alternatively, phone 0300 028 8888.

Carer Emergency Respite Service

Many carers worry about what would happen to the person they care for in an emergency. For instance, the carer might be taken ill suddenly, or be called away for work or other urgent family issues. TuVida can provide free emergency respite care for a temporary period of time. Provision is by highly trained staff for up to 48 hrs or for 72 hrs over a weekend or bank holiday.

Support at home after hospital

This service is available for older people and carers who may need additional help after leaving hospital. Find out more in the section Going in and coming out of hospital or go to Age UK West Sussex, Brighton and Hove website.

There is no charge for this service as it is supported by West Sussex County Council.

Carer Health and Wellbeing Fund

The Carer Health and Wellbeing Fund offers small grants for carers for help to pay for equipment, services or activities that will support your wellbeing as a carer. That could mean, for example, a computer to help you stay connected with friends and family or a gym membership to help you look after your health. The fund is managed by Carers Support West Sussex and you need to be registered with Carers Support to apply for a grant. For more information, contact Carers Support West Sussex.

Consider technology enabled care

Technology Enabled Care allows you to call for help in the event of an emergency, if you’re not feeling well or if you’re anxious about a situation, such as an unknown caller to your home. 

There are various different alarms, sensors and equipment which can suit a variety of needs and offer reassurance to you and your family and friends carers.

To find out more, go to the Equipment page.

Last updated: 01 March 2024

Websites you may be interested in

Carers Support West Sussex

for family and friend carers



If you are caring for a older parent and are struggling to cope, age space may provide some support.


Local Offer

Services, information and events for children and young people with additional needs and disabilities and their families.


West Sussex Parent Carer Forum

Offer help to parent carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs and disabilities.