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How it all started ...

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Hampshire is part of a network of 144 Carer Centres in the UK. The network is co-ordinated by The Carers Trust (formally PRTC).

The Princess is actively involved with the Centres and attends functions to help with fundraising as well as conferences and educational events. She has visited us in Winchester on several occasions.

Each centre is an independent registered charity established with help from the Trust and funded by local authorities, social services, primary care trusts and other organisations.

Winchester City Councillor Susan Glasspool set up the Winchester and Andover Carer Centre in 1994 when she was Mayor of Winchester, using the proceeds of her Mayor’s Charity Appeal. Cllr Glasspool was Chair of the organisation for six years and remains a Director today.

We are governed by a voluntary Board of Directors, some of whom are or were carers. The Board meets once a month and has responsibility for finance and strategy, although the day-to-day running of the Centre is the responsibility of the Chief Executive.

We are the current contract holders with Hampshire County Council and the five clinical commissioning groups to provide carers services across Hampshire (ex Portsmouth and Southampton).

The work we do is varied and is tailored to the needs of each individual carer. Our focus is on giving carers accurate and up-to-date information on anything from disability aids to benefits claims as well as emotional support. We run Alzheimer’s Cafes in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester. We also run special support groups, act as carers’ advocates, liaise with Social Services, GPs, hospitals and the Benefits Agency amongst others and offer free counselling to carers by way of qualified voluntary counsellors.

A free newsletter is distributed to carers and professionals across Hampshire 3 times a year - offering information, signposting, health and social care news as well as other information to carers.