Community Focus: Carers of Barking and Dagenham


Carers of Barking & Dagenham is a well established locally based organisation which provides support, information, advice and advocacy to informal carers and their families living in Barking & Dagenham. We also offer a range of recreational and leisure activities to carers including a fully comprehensive training programme.

We were established in1986 and were a Registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee in 1997.

We offer support to over 3000 informal family carers who look after a person who has a disability or long term illness. The person they are caring for may have a physical disability, mental illness, dementia or Alzheimer's disease, or a learning disability. We also support young carers who have a caring responsibility for a relative; just under half of our young carers are caring for a parent.

We employ around 38 staff and over 156 volunteers who donate their valuable time to enable us to do more for carers and their families.

As well as providing support, information and advice to carers the organisation provides a number of specialist projects and services which include the following:

Memory Lane Resource Centre

Carers of Barking & Dagenham provide the Memory Lane service; a dementia Mon-Fri, day care service for over 24 people living with dementia and an information resource for carers and the person being looked after with dementia. We have a team of Dementia Advisors and work in partnership with the local Admiral Nurse, Social Workers and Health. Cost for a day placement £47.50 which includes breakfast, 3 course lunch, afternoon tea and activities.

Dancing at Memory Lane
Mental Health Project:

This project offers information, telephone and emotional support, advocacy and social events for those who care for someone who has depression, schizophrenia or any other serious mental illness.

Black and Ethnic Minority Project:

This project raises awareness and identifies hidden carers from the black and ethnic minority communities offering the whole range support, services and signposting.

Parents in Partnership Service:

Supports parents/carers of children who are on an assessment stage of the Special Educational Needs Process. They can provide information and support about the assessment process and a range of other school related issues e.g. school exclusions.

Face to Face/Parent Carer Support:

Face to Face is a specialised training course for parents who have been given a diagnosis of disability in their child. The training enables parents to work through very difficult emotions and their sense of grief offering a positive way forward and parents find they are more empowered, resilient and better able to face the future. We also offer parent carer advocacy and support which includes peer support groups and social activities.

Parents completing parenting programme
Welfare Benefits:

If a person cares for someone in their family or a close friend who has a long term illness or disability there may be a number of benefits they could be entitled to. The following services are offered:

  • Comprehensive Benefit Advice

  • Full Benefit Checks

  • Help with filling out forms

  • Advice on Appeals

  • Help with letter writing

  • Representation at Tribunals
  • Fuel payments
  • Warm front


The organisation offers 19 training courses aimed at providing carers with skills, knowledge and confidence to help them move forward in their lives. These include:

  • Conciliation

  • Lifting and handling

  • Speak Easy 4 day training

  • Positive Parenting Skills {Incrediable years} 12 day training course

  • Open University taster

  • NVQ 2 in Customer Care

  • NVQ 2 in Social Care

  • First Aid

  • Mental Health Awareness

  • Money Management

  • Basic counselling

  • Face to Face 4 day training course

  • Moving On 4 day training course

  • Anger and Stress Management

Dementia Care and Carers

  • End of Life Care and carers

  • Carers Dementia Training 3 half day training course

  • Carers Awareness
  • Personalisation


We are always looking to recruit volunteers to assist us with all our different activities and services. This could include drivers and escorts for our minibus, providing telephone support for carers, office administration and young carer's activities including practical support. We currently have 120 volunteers that enable us to do more for informal carers living in Barking & Dagenham

Some of our volunteer drivers and escorts
Support Groups & Social Activities:

We hold a number of specialist support groups where carers in similar situations can exchange thoughts and experiences in a friendly and safe environment and together offer peer support. We also organise guest speakers to ensure carers are given a range of information. Our social activities programme offers trips and leisure opportunities.

Young Carers

We support over 600 young carers across Barking and Dagenham and Thurrock providing the following support

  • Leisure and social group activities 3 each week in each borough

  • Residential trips

  • Sports

  • One to one support

  • Peer support

  • Young carers sub group

  • Advocacy support

  • Whole family support

Targeted support to young carers who care for their parent with a serious mental illness and or drug and alcohol misuse

Training Moving On for young carers in transition to adulthood

  • Sexual Health

  • CV writing

  • Communication skills

  • Interview skills

  • How to find a further education course or work

  • Money Matters

Organisation Quality Awards

  • London Youth Award

  • Investors in People

  • Community Legal Service Award

Young carers on a residential visit to CHICKS