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Helping carers to know their rights; ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE.

THIS year's Carers Rights Day - on Friday December 3 - is all about knowing your rights.

Many people don''t get the support they need because they don''t recognise themselves as carers. If you regularly provide or intend to provide care for someone in need of support, you need to find out about the help available.

Depending on their circumstances, carers have rights to financial support, protection for their state pension if they have given up work to care and rights to request flexible working if they juggle work and care. However the benefits and social care systems are complicated and finding out what exactly you are entitled to can be difficult. Whether it's just simple information on what your rights are, help with filling in forms, or a full benefits check, it's important you seek support to make sure you are claiming everything you are entitled to. Even if you're not entitled to claim benefits there is a range of other ways in which you get help with being a carer, such as equipment, practical help and getting access to a break. Crossroads Care Gateshead has launched a new Take a Break service funded through NHS South of Tyne and Wear. It provides financial assistance to help carers do something different in their lives to help give them a break from caring and re-charge their batteries.

This can be achieved by providing personalised breaks that enable carers to have a fulfilling life outside of caring. It could be attending a college course, joining a gym, going out for a meal, or simply having some time to yourself. The choice is yours.

If you live in Gateshead, are over 18 and looking after a family member, partner, or friend who is frail, has illness or disability, then you could be eligible This year Crossroads Care Gateshead will be hosting a community event on Friday December 3 from 2pm-5pm which is being supported through Gateshead Council''s local community fund.

As well as providing information on carers rights and the new Take a Break service, there will be activities for all the family including a Healthy Highfield Gallery highlighting ongoing local community work.

For further information about the whole range of Crossroads Care Gateshead services, call 01207 549780.

Another event will be held on Friday December 3 at Gateshead Carers Association to encourage carers to know their rights.

Legal experts from Northumbria University will speak on two key pieces of legislation. Paul McKeown, a senior lecturer at Northumbria University specialising in housing, employment and welfare benefits, will speak on the Equality Act. Kevin Kerrigan of Northumbria University, a Human Rights Act consultant, will give a talk on the Human Rights Act.

Organisers hope the speakers will spark a debate on these two laws and how they can be used to protect and advance carers' rights.

There will be time for a question and answer session after the talks followed by a buffet lunch. The event starts at 10am at Gateshead Carers Association, 11 Regent Terrace, Gateshead. NE8 1LU. Gateshead Carers Association is particularly keen to hear from hidden carers - people who may not see themselves as carers to a member of the family or friend, who is ill, disabled, elderly or in need of emotional support.

For further information, call Judith Dunn, campaigns and development worker, on 0191 490 0121 or judith.dunn@gatesheadc a re r s. c o m. For more information about the Carers Rights national campaign check out www.carersuk.org /information.

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SEEK SUPPORT If you are caring for someone else there may be help available
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 29, 2010
Words:598
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