The Connecting Carers Card

Wallet sized card that provides unpaid carers with a new form of photo ID.

Signpost received a grant of £8000, for an initial proposal of introducing a ‘Connecting Carers Card’. This wallet sized card provides unpaid carers with a new form of photo ID, identifying them as having a caring role and provides an additional contact in case of emergency situation arises, ensuring that services are aware somebody is depending on the person’s care.

Person holding a wallet in front of a laptop

Julie - Stockport Signpost for Carers

The funding from Stockport Council enabled our charity to kickstart this idea. The money meant that we could buy the equipment needed, employ someone to develop the necessary processes and consult with carers and businesses, and really get the ball rolling. The Connecting Carers Card is a great example of a Carers Passport and has been cited in work across Greater Manchester, the North West and nationally. None of this would have happened without the support from the Stockport Local Fund. The next step is to make it digital.

The Connecting Carers Card also offers carers in Stockport discounts with a number of local businesses, furthering Signpost’s aim to develop Stockport as being a Carer Friendly Community. These businesses are provided with a Signpost window sticker and leaflets which increases the visibility of the organisation and the support it provides to Stockport’s carers.

The idea for the card came about as a result of the difficulties in discussing contingency planning with carers. This is a really challenging reality for many carers to digest, and something that many put off. Carers told the organisation that contingency planning seemed like a spurious concept. In being able to offer something concrete, with instant, visible benefits, Signpost is able to open up this conversation with unpaid carers, encouraging them to think about their role and future planning. The project also seized the opportunity to get local businesses involved to support the initiative, helping companies to work with the charity and invest in Stockport.

The Connecting Carers Card has become a big part of carers lives in Stockport, and a key offer from Signpost. Starting from humble beginnings, there are now more than 1100 card holders with 25 businesses signed up, from holiday cottages in Devon to Reiki providers in Hazel Grove. Stockport’s unpaid carers are also able to use the card as ‘proof’ of their caring role if required; For example, enabling access to COVID vaccines earlier in the year and for free carer entry to tourist attractions.

To find out more visit the Signpost Stockport for Carers website.