The What If? card has been available for a few years but we have now made it dual purpose – it has become a carer’s card too.
Having a carer’s card tells people working in shops, GP surgeries, pharmacies and other places that you are a carer.
Our head of carer services Andy McGowan explained more about why we have done this, “During the coronavirus pandemic we received many calls for help from people who were struggling to go shopping as they didn’t have anything that showed they are a carer and needed access to priority slots.
“We sent people letters so they had a form of identification which we know helped many of them at a difficult time.
“When thinking about the redesign of the What If? card, we decided to use it to show people that the holder is a carer so we hope this overcomes any issues you may come across.”
With restrictions due to coronavirus often changing one thing that has been a common theme is that the role of carers looking after a family member or friend, and the importance of them carrying out tasks associated with their caring role, have been recognised.
Another purpose of the new card is we plan to work with businesses in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to encourage them to offer discounts, for example cafés, restaurants and shops as well as leisure facilities.
We know some businesses and organisations already do this – for example, some venues giving free or discounted admission to carers who are there supporting the person they look after.
To find out more about getting a carer’s card email [email protected] or call 0345 241 0954.
Carer’s cards and emergency planning
Many people have already registered for a What If? Plan but you do not have to have a plan to have a card, which means that any carer of any age can request a card.
If you request a carer’s card you can register a What If? Plan at a later date if you are eligible.
Over the next few months, we will be sending out a new card to everyone who is already registered for a What If? Plan.
Why register for a What If? Plan
If the person you look after lives in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough you can register a ‘What If? Plan’ with us.
The What If? phone line is then available for you to call 24-hours a day if you need to activate your plan. This includes us getting in touch with a named contact, such as another family member or friend, to make them aware of the situation and to put the agreed plans into action.
If you are a carer who is caring for an adult, we can also provide urgent support to the person you care for, in the event of you being unable to care for them.
This free service is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.
You can see Andy talking about the carer’s card here: