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Carers Support Service

Who is a Carer?

A carer is someone who regularly provides a substantial amount of care to a family member, friend or neighbour who is ill, disabled or is an older person.

A carer could be:

  • A young person under 18 looking after a parent/brother/sister;
  • Looking after a relative with a disability;
  • The parent of a child with special needs;
  • A friend or relative looking after an older person

  • Meet the Team

    Cathy Magowan

    Carer Support Coordinator
    2 Coleshill Road, Enniskillen
    Co. Fermanagh BT74 7HG


    Geraldine McLaughlin

    Geraldine McLaughlin

    Carers Development Worker

    Rossabbey Office
    Abbey Street, Londonderry, BT48 9DN

    078 1015 6551
    028 7135 5023

  • Carers Activities Programme

    The Carers Support Team run a number of online and in-person programmes for Carers. For up to date information on what is currently available check out the most recent Carers Newsletter or contact the Carers Support Team on (028) 7135 5023 or (028) 6634 4163.

  • COVID-19 Support Grant
  • Unpaid Carers Vaccination Programme

    Who is eligible?

    • Carers who provide regular care for an elderly or disabled person.
    • Carers in receipt of Carers Allowance or Carers Credit
    • You must be over 18
    • Care Partners

    Who is not included in this group?

    • Employed Care workers (employed via an agency or privately)
    • Carers who do not have a Health & Care number for Northern Ireland

    The Carers Support Team are receiving a high volume of calls regarding the vaccination programme for unpaid carers. Please, where possible email your query to

    The team will respond as soon as possible, please be patient.

  • COVID-19 Vaccine for Carers

    Unpaid carers, if not picked up in earlier priority groups,  will be offered vaccination in priority 6.

    Vaccination policy in Northern Ireland is based on the recommendations and advice provided by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which advises the 4 UK Health Ministers. It is essential that we follow the advice on priority groups and target those at greatest risk first to ensure that we protect as many vulnerable people as possible from severe illness and death as a result of catching COVID-19.

  • Managing your Caring: Looking after Yourself

    Managing your Caring is part of a suite of programmes delivered in the Western Trust called Managing the Challenge.

    Managing your Caring was first developed at Stanford University as an online programme in cooperation with the Veterans Administration. The Western Trust in conjunction with Action Mental Health (AMH) is offering a 7 week Managing your Caring; Looking after Yourself programme delivered via Zoom, for unpaid Carers.

    Topics include, Thoughtful Breathing, Improving Fatigue, Challenging Behaviours, Problem-solving, Staying Healthy, difficult thoughts and Emotions, Future Planning, Working with Health Care Professionals and Communication.

    The programme is delivered via Zoom over 7 Fridays, 10.30 – 1pm. Dates for the Zoom delivery are:

    • 5th , 12th , 19th March 2021
    • Easter Break
    • 9th , 16th, 23rd, 30th April 2021

    Please note you will need to have access to a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device, with internet/WiFi access or 4G.

    To register please email: with a contact telephone/mobile number. Alternatively call Cathy Magowan 075 2589 8985 or Geraldine McLaughlin 078 1015 6551.

  • Carers Support Needs Assessment

    As a carer who provides regular and substantial care, you are eligible for a support needs assessment. This is an opportunity for you to sit down with a member of staff and discuss the impact of the caring role on all aspects of your life.

    Carer support needs assessments are confidential and the Trust will seek your consent around who information can be shared with, if appropriate in order to agree supports for you. This may be specialist information, or a referral to a support group.

    The outcome of the assessment will be discussed to see if Social Services or another agency can meet your needs. Any needs that are not met will be recorded as evidence of services that we cannot provide.

  • Carers Group Cash Grants

    Any Carers group that is constituted and meets on a regular basis (at least bi-monthly) can apply for up to £500. The money can be used for any activities provide support for Carers that will benefit their health and well-being. The funding cannot be used for activities for the persons being cared for. The grant is normally open from September until early December for applications. To find out more contact the Carers Support Team 028 6634 4163 or 028 7135 5023

  • Carers Walking Groups

    The Carers Support Team run three Carers Walking Groups.

    Tuesday – Omagh, usually meet at the Leisure Centre at 10.00 am

    Thursday – Londonderry, usually meet at Sainsbury’s at 11.00 am

    Friday – Fermanagh, meet at Community Services, Coleshill, Enniskillen at 11.00 am

    To find out more contact the Carers Support Team 028 6634 4163 or 028 7135 5023

  • Help and Advice

    For help and advice about benefits:

    Omagh Independent Advice Service
    Telephone: 028 8224 3252

    Dove House Resource Centre, Londonderry
    Telephone: 028 7126 9327

    The Resource Centre, Londonderry
    Telephone: 028 7135 2832

    Churches Advice Centre, Spencer Rd, Londonderry
    Telephone: 028 7134 2536

    Rosemount Community Resource Centre, Londonderry
    Telephone: 028 7128 2829

    Limavady Community Development Initiative (LCDI)
    Telephone: 028 7776 5438

    Citizens Advice Bureau:
    Fermanagh  Telephone: 028 6632 4334
    Londonderry Telephone: 028 7136 2444
    Strabane Telephone: 028 7138 2665

    Carers NI  also provide advice and support via a helpline Telephone: 028 9043 9843

  • Carers Newsletter
  • Benefits Information

    The criteria for Carers Allowance is that carers have to be caring for more than 35 hrs/week. Carers who care for more than 20 hrs in the week are entitled to claim Carers Credit, which means they will have credits allocated towards their pension. Carers who fall into the category of caring between 20 -34 hrs per week can Claim Carers credits by completing an application which can be accessed on the NI Direct website by clicking here or contact Carers Allowance Branch,  Belfast Tel:  028 9090 6186, and they will post a form out.

  • Children and Young People Strategic Partnership

    Resource and activity pack to support children and young people with a disability, and to support children and young people with their mental health. The pack also includes a host of other resources and activities

    Children and Young People's Startegic Partnership - Resource Pack for Children and Young People

  • Carers Handbook and Further Resources

    Download the Carers Support information leaflet:

    English     Arabic     Bulgarian     Cantonese     Lithuanian     Mandarin
    Polish     Portuguese     Romanian     Russian     Slovak     Somali


    You do not have to be in receipt of Carers Allowance to be a carer. Some carers do not qualify for this benefit. For more information please download the Carers Allowance Factsheet.

    Download the Western Trust Carers Handbook: an essential source of help and support for people who are looking after someone.

  • Useful Links

Locations where this service is delivered


Cathy Magowan

Carer Support Coordinator
2 Coleshill Road, Enniskillen
Co. Fermanagh BT74 7HG

Call us02866344163

Geraldine McLaughlin

Carers Development Worker
Rossabbey Office
Abbey Street
BT48 9DN

078 1015 6551

Call us028 7135 5023

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