The Carers' Conundrum

At some time in our lives many of us will be looking after a frail, sick or disabled relative or friend. According to the national charity Carers UK "Six million people in the UK are caring right now but whilst caring is part and parcel of life, without the right support the personal costs of caring can be high." Caring can take its toll on your finances, your health, your career, your family and your social life. Carers can fall out of paid work and many rely on low-level benefits, forcing them into poverty.

Wednesdays are dedicated carers days at The Cool House featuring a weekly carers' group meeting with a carers support worker, excellent lunches and occasional afternoon activities.

Regular carers events and meetings also take place in South Hams. In South Devon alongside the strong network of Cool Recovery carers, there are mental health carer support workers employed by Devon Partnership Mental Health Trust and Torbay Care Trust. Cool Recovery carers are trying to address these issues. In 2002 a group of COOL carers drew up a paper entitled 'Recovery for Carers', when the realisation dawned that they need to recover and lead their own lives, even if the person they support is unable, unwilling or not ready to recover theirs.

Carers Group

Young Carers

Cool Young Carers; Young people specifically affected by mental health, drug and alcohol issues. Cool Recovery supports Young Carers living in enforced isolation, because of caring duties for parents or family members who are struggling with a mental health illness or drug and alcohol misuse. The project takes the young person out of their every day situation and leads them to a place of understanding and safety, where they can socialise and build up their confidence. Vital friendships are made, in a fun, supportive and non judgemental environment, meeting their immediate needs we hope to bring about lasting change to give them the best possible chances for their futures.

Contact: Andy Wright | Tel: 07776 495028 | Email:

Contact: Emma Wiggins | Tel: 01803 208657 | Email:


Download the Young Carers Poster (PDF)

YC Poster

Torbay Young Adult Carers

Torbay Young Adults Carers Service provides a range of support for Young Adults aged 16 – 25 years old who are caring for, or helping to care for someone who has a long term illness, disability, frailty, mental ill-health, and drug or alcohol problems.

Contact: Cheryl Mackinnon or Dave Baker | Tel: 01803 208455

Email: | Web:

Download the Young Adult Carers Poster (PDF)

YAC Poster

Substance Misuse Carers Support Worker

For those affected by a friend or family members alcohol and/or substance misuse based at The Cool House.

Contact: Virginia Compton (Substance Misuse Nurse/RGN) | Tel: 07792 906615 | Email: