Project information

South and Vale Adult Carer Outreach Project

The South and Vale Carers Centre Adult Outreach Project offers free and confidential face to face information, advice and emotional or Disability Benefit support to unpaid adult carers and the vulnerable, sick or disabled, elderly, adults or children who they care for.

July 2014 - July 2015

Charity information: The South and Vale Carers Centre

The South and Vale Carers Centre logo
  • Need


    The applications for Disability and Carers Benefits are extremely complex and confusing and if carers do not complete Benefit forms correctly, they will not get their correct Benefit entitlement. In addition, the network of support services and agencies accessed through health and social services is also very difficult to navigate and many carers and the people they care for are not getting appropriate help, which causes stress for unpaid carers who already have substantial care responsibility.


    The South and Vale Adult Outreach Project works face to face with unpaid carers and the people they care to help them claim Disability and Carer Benefits. We support carers with completing their Benefit Claim forms and ensure they understand what information they are being asked to give and how best to present it. We also ensure that Carers and the people they Care for are getting appropriate help from health and social services and make referrals to other agencies if they are not.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To ensure unpaid carers and the people they care for access their full Benefit entitlement.


    » Face to face support at home or another venue of their choice when completing complex Benefit Claim forms.
    » Full Benefit checks to ensure all appropriate Benefits are being claimed by the carer and cared for to maximise their income.
    » Helping carers and those they care for gather all the information, documents and evidence they need to support their Benefit claim.

    What success will look like

    Success will be...that carers and the people they care for are successful in their Benefit claims, as measured in our Summary of all Benefits.

    Aim 2

    Ensure unpaid carers and the people they care for are supported with Benefit Appeals and Tribunals.


    » Help the carer or the person they care for gather all the information and documentation they will need to make an Appeal.
    » Analyse the supporting documentation and evidence with the carers and cared for and help them build their case of Appeal.
    » Provide representation and ensure that those attending an Appeal Tribunal are not alone at their hearing and have emotional support when they need it.

    What success will look like

    Success will be... that carers and the people they care for are successful in their Appeals, as measured in our Summary of Benefit Appeals.

    Aim 3

    To ensure that carers and cared for get appropriate help from health and social services.


    » Face to face discussions with carers at their home or a venue of their choice to discuss their situation.
    » Make referrals directly to appropriate service providers and agencies on behalf of the carers and the people they cared for.

    What success will look like

    Success will be... That carers have a better quality of life because they are receiving all the help and support they are entitled to, as measured in our Feedback Questionnaire

  • Impact


    We aim to improve the financial and emotional well-being of unpaid carers in our community. We record each contact we make with a carer and produce a detailed analysis of who we help and how. Carers report back their experience of our support by completing our Feedback Questionnaire. Financial success is recorded in our Annual Benefits Summary. For Appeals and Tribunal work, we use similar measures to monitor our success.


    In April 2011 we lost all our funding from Oxfordshire County Council, so we are working hard to develop and implement an overall fundraising strategy for our service over the short and long term. We have reserve funding with we currently use to maintain our service, but we have also made changes to the number of hours and the way in which we work to streamline costs while continuing to provide a consistent and high level of support to all carers.


    We compile detailed reports regarding how the funding we receive is being used, how this fits into our overall annual financial picture, and the outcomes that have been achieved for that aspect of our service which donors are funding. We also provide feedback to donors through our Newsletters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £107,052

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      Amount Heading Description
      £64,360 Salaries Support Workers and Administration
      £5,700 Expenses Travel, Training, Specialist Subscriptions and Mobile Phones
      £23,268 Management Management and Supervision of Support Work
      £13,724 Central Costs Building and Utilities

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    South Oxfordshire District Council £25,000 Guaranteed
    The Shanly Foundation £1,000 Guaranteed
    The Lynn Foundation £500 Guaranteed
    S E M Charitable Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
    The PF Charitable Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
    The Doris Field Charitable Trust £1,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Our Adult Outreach Project is located in South Oxfordshire and Vale of the White Horse. This is a very rural area, and many carers live in isolated communities with poor transport links. The area is predominantly wealthy, but there are pockets of deprivation, especially in Didcot, Berinsfield, and Abingdon.


    The Adult Outreach Project support adult carers who are caring for someone with a physical or mental illness, frailty due to old age, or disability. This might be an adult or a child of any age. The South and Vale of Oxfordshire has a population of 243,815, of which 22,667 are unpaid carers. 33% of the carers we support are from the most deprived area of our community, even though the majority or the area is wealthy.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are the only carers' charity in our area that provides Benefit Claim support to unpaid carers of all ages in their own homes. Our Adult Outreach Workers have training and expertise specific to completing complex Benefit claim forms, and have also built up close working relationships with Social Service teams and other agencies locally and nationally so that we can guide carers through the network of support agencies and ensure they access exactly the support they need.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Carly Buckingham

    Carly has been an Adult Outreach Project Support Worker for one year and also works as a Young Carer Support Worker.

    Sunita Chanon

    Sunita has been an Adult Outreach Project Support Worker for six years, and has extensive knowledge and experience with Disability Benefit Claims.

    Claire Wormald

    Claire has been and Adult Outreach Project Support worker for seven years and has specialist knowledge about Benefit Appeals and Tribunals.