The Central Bedfordshire Council has negotiated with Age UK Beds, to provide a new service offer from October 2017 for Central Bedfordshire residents. This is for respite services to help carers aged 50+ to have a break from their caring role, a great opportunity that increases the current carers respite offer available, from sitting services only, to a range of services that will give the carer more options and greater choice.

The service will be applicable for carers aged 50+ in receipt of Carers Vouchers from the Council, who either:

  • Care for someone who will not need personal care (including toileting) during the time that Age UK is supporting the cared-for person.
    Want a service that does not involve supporting the cared-for person.
  • All customer groups can be catered for e.g. an older person, a person with a learning disability and others. Age UK intend that the same worker will be allocated to the carer each time they request the service.

Initially the service will be available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. However, Age UK will work towards expanding this service from early in the morning to outside of office hours, and at weekends, resources permitting. The range of services is broad, and will increase in line with what carers say they would like. Initially services will include:

  • Sitting services
  • Taking the cared-for person for a walk, to the local garden centre, etc.
  • Help with shopping
  • Gardening
  • Housework

The team who will be delivering the service are Enhanced DBS checked and have completed Lifting and Handling, Dementia, Safeguarding and Bereavement training. They will also have completed a course on Enablement, so that the services are delivered in a way that promotes independence.

The working arrangements for the new service have been agreed with the Council’s Brokerage team who will provide details of the new service, alongside those of the current service, to carers with Carer’s Vouchers. The carer will then contact Age UK, request a service, confirming the duration and frequency and Age UK will arrange for a visit and assessment to be undertaken before the service starts.

Once the service is completed, the carer will give the Age UK worker the Carers Vouchers to cover the hours of service provided and Age UK will invoice the Council for the value of the vouchers (£16 per hour).

Contact Details
The Carers Respite Services Team at Age UK (Beds) can be contacted by:

  • Telephone: 01234 360510
  • Email:

Cllr Carole Hegley, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Social Care and Housing, said “The support carers give to the people they care for is amazing and really appreciated. The Council is keen to help support carers, so they keep healthy and well, have some time to recharge their batteries and have a well-earned break from their caring role. I am so pleased that the service offer is expanding and that it will continue to do so, with input from carers themselves.”

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