Supporting carers of people with dementia

Please note: Due to staff transition we are unable to take any referrals at this time. We are hoping to start taking new referral in the New Year (Jan 2020).


Are you caring for a person with dementia?

The Dementia Carers' Support Service provides support to family or informal carers of people with a diagnosis of dementia throughout the journey of their caring role. Carers of people with dementia can be linked to volunteers who often have first-hand carer experience. These trained and often experienced volunteers act as a befriender or buddy.

How does the service work?

The service covers Cambridge City, South Cambs, East Cambs, Fenland and Huntingdonshire. On receipt of a referral, the coordinator will arrange a meeting with you to discuss the service and how best you can be supported. A support plan will be developed, and a volunteer may then be matched and introduced to you.

What can I expect from a volunteer?

It will be your choice to decide how you would like the volunteer to support you. You may wish to simply have telephone or email contact, or be visited at home flexibly to fit in with your needs as a carer. Volunteers can provide: 

  • Emotional support
  • Social Support
  • Practical support
  • Informational support
  • Signposting to other services
  • Opportunities for you and the person you care for to meet at our social events

Unfortunately, the service is unable to provide a sitting service or break for the carer.

Comments about the service

‘Having a befriender in my life has given me the support I need to be able to do the best for my mother and keep her in her home for as long as possible’.

‘I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for the help DCSS has given me at a time when I was struggling to care for my husband. They provided me with an excellent befriender, who helped me whenever I needed information about anything that cropped up, I don’t know how I would have coped without their support’.

'The more we see of our volunteer, I am amazed at what a good match we are! It’s just so good to be able to talk and find that you are not condemned for some of the thoughts you have, in fact they are normal'

‘The DCSS provides an invaluable help to those of us who are being stressed, in caring for our loved ones. I am grateful for the help and support I received in trying to cope with my wife's illness'

About our volunteers

Volunteers are often experienced carers who have a desire to help others. They have knowledge, skills and qualities that they can pass on to current carers of people with dementia. As CPFT volunteers they undergo the normal recruitment process for volunteers such as assessment of capability, appropriateness and DBS checks. Volunteers receive training and supervision and adhere to the policies and procedures of the Trust.

Become a volunteer

Starting from as little as a couple of hours a month, or as much time as you can give, you really can make a difference in many ways. As well as our 1:1 Peer Support Befriender role, we have a variety of other volunteering opportunities, from helping at regular social events, to telling people about what we do. Whether you want to make new friends, develop new skills or give something back to your local community, you can support us and make a real difference to dementia carers lives. 

If you feel that you could befriend and support someone caring for a loved one who has dementia, or can help in any other way then please contact us. However you’d like to get involved we’d love to hear from you.  You will become a CPFT volunteer and will undergo the normal recruitment process for volunteers including DBS check. You will receive an induction, training, and on going support to help you become confident in your role. You will receive regular supervision (peer group or 1 to 1) and expenses will be remunerated.

If you would like to help make a difference to dementia carers’ lives please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

Comments from volunteers

'I can only say that giving my time to someone who may be in distress, lonely or disabled in some way, has hopefully benefitted their lives and has certainly enriched mine. I have learnt so much - I am a better person for it!'

“I find volunteering with DCSS very rewarding and love the fact I’m giving something back to other Carers who are just starting out on a Dementia journey with a love one.” 

Tricia's story
Chris's story


Coordinators: Sally Kitchin, Estelle Wrathall and Kath Everitt
Support Assistant: Terry Dellar

T: 01480 420331

Or write to us at:
Dementia Carers' Support Service, New  Cottages, Princess of Wales Hospital, Lynn Road, Ely, CB6 1DN.


Further information

The page was last updated on 12 November 2019 by Mark.Cole.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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