Parent Carers

Who is a Parent Carer?

Anyone who provides care and support to a child under 18 who is ill, has a disability or any additional needs.

As a parent caring for a child with disabilities and/or special needs and requirements can be very rewarding. But even when you willingly take on the task it’s still hard work. You may have times when there is too much to do; not enough money; no social life or time for yourself and not enough for sleep or relaxation.

Click here to watch a video of one mother’s experiences of being a Parent Carer.

Herefordshire Carers Support offers a wide range of help, advice and support specifically targetted to meet the needs of Parent Carers.

By registering with us you will meet people with similar challenges and also strengthen the Herefordshire Parent Carer Voice – a forum of Parent Carers who contribute to the planning of future services in Herefordshire.

Herefordshire Carers Support provides


More sporting opportunities for young disabled people

Children’s Minister Edward Timpson has announced that the Project Ability grant will be extended for a further year at £300,000. The grant aims to increase the participation levels of young disabled people in sport and to increase the expertise of the teachers and professionals around them by funding 49 regional school hubs.

Key achievements paid for by the grant over the last year include:

  • 100 events staged for 1,652 members of the school workforce to improve their inclusive practice and knowledge to engage young disabled people in PE and school sport
  • more than 60 primary and secondary schools connecting with national disability sport organisations to support young disabled people, parents and carers
  • inspirational mentoring visits from Olympic and Paralympic role models to more than 1,250 young disabled people

The grant, which has been extended at the same level as last year, will be distributed through the Youth Sport Trust to build on the excellent work already carried out through Project Ability schools.

The announcement comes after the launch of Moving More, Living More, a cross-government strategy to increase participation in physical activity to provide an Olympic and Paralympic legacy for the nation. Children’s Minister Edward Timpson said:

“I’ve seen for myself some of the excellent work that’s been done through the Project Ability grant and I’m delighted to announce its extension for a further year. Sport should be open and accessible to everyone – it not only increases physical activity levels but can raise confidence and aspirations and make a real difference to the lives of young people.”

“I’m proud of this government’s continued work to secure the Olympic and Paralympic legacy and I’m determined to ensure all children have the chance to play sport and keep fit at school.”



‘Victory for parent carers’ as Government agrees law change

Baroness Jill Pitkeathley, Patron of HCS, has been campaigning hard for parents caring for disabled children to be included in new rights which will make it easier for carers to be assessed and supported. We’re delighted to report that she has secured the publication of an amendment as new care legislation completes its final stages in Parliament. The Government’s decision to introduce this change is an historic moment for the rights of parent carers.

Caring for a disabled child can take a huge toll on parents’ health and wellbeing. Because of these proposed changes, local authorities will now have a duty to promote the wellbeing of parent carers when they look at the needs of families with disabled children.

For a long time it looked like parent carers would be left behind with lesser rights to assessment and support so we are delighted that the Government has listened and is taking the opportunity to recognise the huge impact that caring for a disabled child can have.

As the Care Bill streamlines and strengthens the rights of other carers, clarifying local authority responsibilities for assessing their needs and promoting their wellbeing, the Children and Families Bill will now do the same for parent carers.

This victory underlines the importance of campaigning together to bring lasting change. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating this success and continue to work together to help secure other much-needed changes. Together our voice is louder.



Support Groups are run by our Support Worker. Carers meet up to socialize and also to be able to discuss their feelings and experiences with like minded people. We sometimes have speakers, or arrange to meet in a cafe or pub for lunch. All groups are for parents of children aged 0 – 18.

Parent Together meetings, support groups for Parents or Carers who have children with special needs are held on a regular basis in Hereford. For more details phone Cathy Hayes on 01432 356068.

What the Parent Carer Group means to me


The Tuesday morning coffee mornings have been an absolute “life-saver” for me. Not only can life be extremely lonely when you have a child with a disability but as a new comer to the country. I have found that the group has not only helped me to connect with other people who “know” what you are going through, this has been a wonderful opportunity for me to meet and integrate with the people of this country in a way I never thought was going to be possible.

For the first two years of being here, I was really very isolated and lonely. On a day when I was feeling as low as I had ever felt, I finally plucked up the courage to give HCS a call and spoke with Cathy who suggested coming to the group. Needless to say I was very nervous!! On arriving at the group that first morning, I was absolutely overwhelmed at how accepting and welcoming the other parent carers in the group were. Honestly, looking back now, I only wished I had picked up the phone sooner.

The Tuesday morning group is the highlight of my week and it is just so wonderful to be amongst others who know what you are going through and the support amongst us all is just absolutely fantastic!! We laugh together and sometimes even had the odd tear together…truly a wonderful group!!

All Carers are welcome to come along to our groups – details are given below. If you want to find out more about our Support Groups then phone us on 01432 356068 and ask to speak to Cathy Hayes. If you need some help with either travel or alternative care to allow you to come to a group please contact us 01432 356068 and ask to speak to Rachel. We want to make sure everyone who wants to come can do so.

Parent Carer coffee mornings

PC coffee mornings June2015Hereford

Every Tuesday and Friday

10.00 – 12.00 noon at the Heart of Oak, 47-49 Newtown Road, Hereford


Second and forth Wednesday of each month

10.00 – 12noon at Wetherspoons, Leominster

For more details about either group please contact Cathy Hayes on: 01432 356068

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In Herefordshire parents who have a child with a disability themselves have formed, with help from Herefordshire Carers Support, a network of friendship and support for other parents of newly diagnosed children.

Our Parent Befriending Service brings you in touch with other parents who have had similar experiences. All befrienders are trained to enable them to give the best possible support to other parents. They remember how difficult it was, how they had wanted to talk to someone who could understand what they were feeling at the time.

Parent Connect befriending service is informal, flexible and free. For information please phone Cathy Hayes on 01432 356068.

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