News you might have missed




  • There are 1.25 million sandwich carers in the UK. These are people caring for an older relative as well as bringing up a family. 68% (850,743) are women.
  • Sandwich carers’ ages range from 20s to 60s, but those aged 35-44 are the most likely to be carers with 35% being in this age group.

Age UK has published a report containing the harrowing stories of four women who care for a loved one. “A majority of carers are women and many are caring for an older family member as well as children. With little, if any support, from the state many women are struggling to get through each day and are in difficult financial circumstances. Not only that, but they have had to give up their career, leisure, and social life in order to care. These stories are seldom heard but are important because they reveal another side to an inadequate social care system.”

Click here to read Sarah, Rasila, Joyce, and Elaine’s stories




Free Dementia Art therapy sessions are taking place at The Foxes’ Den Café, Binfield Parish Offices, Benetfeld Road, Binfield. RG42 4EW

For more information and to book a place please contact Claire on 07919 448254 or email or





Side by Side service is a new service from Alzheimer’s Society. With a view to combatting social isolation, we are pairing people living with dementia with a volunteer who can support and empower them to reconnect with their local community, and continue doing what they love.

Find out more here.




Blue badges are for people with severe mobility problems who need to park close to where they are going. This can also apply to people living with dementia, which can affect balance, co-ordination and spatial awareness.  Unfortunately, many people who apply are turned down.

The Alzheimer’s Society has produced an excellent guide giving tips on how to increase your chances of successfully applying for a Blue Badge online.

See here.



It’s important that older people and their families and carers are supported to stay well throughout winter.

The NHS guides provide practical advice to support healthy ageing and caring and provide tips on how to keep fit and independent.  The Healthy Caring Guide also identifies support available to help carers maintain their health and wellbeing.

The NHS Healthy Ageing Guide can be ordered and delivered for free by calling 0300123 1002, quoting reference HA2 , or online at   The Healthy Caring Guide can be downloaded from the NHS England website here.





The latest report from the Office of National Statistics shows 1 in 4 ‘sandwich carers (those who care for both sick, disabled or older relatives and dependent children)  are more likely to report symptoms of mental ill-health, feel less satisfied with life, and struggle financially compared with the general population. 

With life expectancy increasing and women having their first child at an older age, around 3% of the UK general population, equivalent to more than 1.3 million people, now have this twin caring responsibility.

Find out more here.



If you’re looking after a family member or friend at home who has:

  1. dementia, or
  2. a life-limiting illness, g. heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, COPD, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis
     or are
  3. caring, unpaid, for more than one person.

If so, thanks to an NHS Respite Fund award received from Berkshire Community Foundation we’re thrilled to offer a number of carers 12 ½ hours of FREE respite to reduce the stresses and strains of your caring role. 

Places are limited so please call now on 0118 979 5324, email:  to apply.

N.B. Priority will be given to carers who recently have not been been able to take a much-needed break.

This fund has now all been used.




For news of Woodley Flower Club, Wokingham Choral Society, Wokingham 41 Club, Rotary Club of Wokingham and Sand Martins Golf Club who, over the last few months, have been so kind in donating funds to continue our essential work providing respite to local carers please see our Current Supporters page.



CarerSmart is a discount club for carers, people with care needs and staff and volunteers across the Carers Trust network.


CarerSmart members’ only cinema discounts are back and they’re better than ever– still with up to 40% off, and now including Odeon theatres as well as Cineworld, Showcase, Vue and many others. This summer will see some highly anticipated releases including Incredibles 2, Mama Mia: Here We Go Again and Mission Impossible: Fallout. So, book your tickets now and arrange some weather-proof days out that everyone can enjoy*.

*Terms and conditions apply. See website for details. Discounts vary between cinema venues. Please check when purchasing vouchers. Registration to The Cinema Society is required to access discount.

CarerSmart is managed and run on behalf of Carers Trust by Parliament Hill Ltd.


AT LAST – Carers Action Plan is released!!

After lengthy ‘Call for Evidence’ consultations in 2016, the Government has finally published the Carers Action Plan.

This details its short-term plans to improve support for carers over the next 2 years.

The equally long-awaited Green Paper on reforming the funding of social care for older people is due in the summer. It is hoped this will address the key issue concerning the shortage of funding, both for social care services and the availability of carers support, including essential respite breaks.


2018 – 2020

Are you a carer or young carer in Wokingham?  

Don’t miss this opportunity to give your views on local carers’ services and say what you’d like to see in the future.

The survey is available online at:

You can also download the survey form here to complete at home or give us a ring on 0118 979 5324 and we can send you one out.




Crossroads Care Wokingham has been selected by Wokingham Waitrose as one of the local charities in the August round of Community Matters.

Don’t forget, if you’re shopping there please drop your green token into our box to help us help local carers looking after someone with a life-limiting illness.

Thank you


New National Data Opt-out – a guide for carers

Carers Trust have worked with NHS England to inform their guide aimed at carers to help them to understand the new National Data Opt-out. This provides a way for the public to opt-out of their patient information being used by services for reasons other than for care, see here.

You can choose to opt-out online or by calling 0300 303 5678.



How The Herbert Protocol can help families of people with Dementia

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme being introduced by the 5 Search & Rescue teams of Thames Valley in partnership with Thames Valley Police and other agencies.  It encourages carers to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing.

Find more details and the forms to register here.



Age UK Carers Guides

Caring for a friend or family member can be extremely rewarding. However, it can be easy for carers to neglect their own needs and they can be unaware of the support available to them.

For Carers’ Week Carers’ Week Age UK has put together some information guides to help carers fulfil their role as carer, both practically and emotionally:

Advice for carers

Caring for someone with dementia

Carer’s Allowance



State of Caring Survey 2018    

This is the most extensive annual survey into carers’ experiences in the UK.

Last year over 7000 carers shared their experience which allowed Carers UK to highlight the impact of being a carer to the media, Parliamentary and Government consultations and in reports that influence decision makers and policy makers in a wide range of areas.

In the survey they’ll be asking you to tell them what life is like now, and what needs to change.  They are keen to hear about your experiences – good or bad – in as much detail as possible as this helps paint a picture of what it is like to be a carer in 2018.  It will take only 20-30 minutes to complete, and if you don’t have much time you can skip most questions.

The survey results will be published later in the year.

To take part see



Age UK – help to claim benefits

The new benefits rates for 2018/19 come into effect from 1 April, so now’s the time for people to check they’re claiming everything they’re entitled to. Age UK’s online benefits calculator can help work out how much someone should be receiving – it’s quick and simple.

They also have an information guide, More money in your pocket, which offers more information about a wide range of benefits and how to claim them.


Crossroads Christmas Raffle raises funds for local carers 

Great news that our festive raffle has raised £114 to provide respite breaks to local carers.  Julia Tredwell, the Trustee who organised the event, said “it’s only because of the generosity of our donors we are able to offer such wonderful prizes. Thank you to everyone who took part in helping improve the lives of local carers”.   



How to raise funds to help Crossroads Care Wokingham (at no extra cost to you!!)  

By using easyfundraising before shopping online a percentage of what you spend will be donated towards our work supporting carers in Wokingham and Bracknell Forest.

See here for more information




Co-op Local Community Fund –  Memory Lane Project

We are delighted to say local Co-op members have raised £3817.82 for us to set up ‘reminiscence-based’ resource packs for our carer support workers to take out to the homes of people who are affected by memory problems.  Our thanks go out to you all and to the Easthampstead, Hanworth and Wokingham Co-op Stores who were our local links and who hosted in-store information stands and                                                                                          donated items for our recent Best Breakfast.


Crossroads holds its 24th Annual General Meeting  

    Cllr Rob Stanton

We were honoured to have the Mayor of Wokingham Borough Council, Cllr Rob Stanton and the Mayoress Mrs Maureen Stanton in attendance at our AGM on Wednesday 8th November.  Catherina Tam, Chief Executive Officer, updated on our services during 2016-17.  This included providing 1,435 hours of respite care to local carers who were at the point of breakdown or whose health was being badly affected by their caring role.

    Ruth Foster


We fondly said goodbye that evening to Ruth Foster, who has retired as a Trustee after 19 years dedicated service and Steve Kennedy who has been responsible for maintaining our website.

The stars of our two new videos, which premiered on the night, were presented with a token thank you by the Mayoress on behalf of Crossroads Care Wokingham.  See here.



Have you claimed a Council Tax Discount?

A recent MoneySavingExpert report has shown tens of thousands of people who are entitled to a ‘severe mental impairment’ council tax discount could be missing out on up to £400 a year.    See here  to check if you’re due the discount – and how to claim it.

There’s also information on the Bracknell Forest Council and Wokingham Borough Council websites about other discounts available for Parent Carers and Adult Carers. 

Look under Band reduction for the disabled & Discounts for people who aren’t counted (BFC) or
Band Reductions for Disabled Residents & Others (WBC).     


New Crossroads Care Wokingham Videos

We’re proud to announce the release of two new videos promoting our work.  ‘Help for unpaid’ carers and ‘Me Time’ show you the dedicated work our Carer Support Workers do and how having a Me Time break can really help to relieve the strains of your everyday caring role.        See here.