I'm in a bad mood today, so hope this doesn't come across as TOO critical!

I've been looking at the Carers UK website today - this is because I am registered with my local branch and have been for some time. I've only ever phoned them twice for advice, and both times they've been unable to provide it. I'm just wondering exactly what Carers UK actually does. Now I'm not being flippant here - I worked in the non-profit sector for a good percentage of my working life, so I know about lobbying and campaigning and all that stuff. But looking at life as a carer today, to be honest, doesn't look much different as to how it did 10 years ago. Carers are being hit by under-occupancy (bedroom tax) which is a huge issue for a lot of carers, so obviously Carers UK had no influence here. Neither did they in respect of Council Tax, for which most carers were exempt up until April this year, but now we are having to find the money to pay a percentage of the total. Carer's Allowance is a derisory rate compared to other benefits - so nothing has changed there.

There's a fairly substantial staff within Carers UK, and I really can't fathom what they all do - even the phone support line is only open 8 hours a week and I would have thought that was a really important part of the support they can give to Carers.

I'm reasonably new to this organisation, and maybe I haven't yet seen what benefits it offers to carers - I'd love to hear from others of how Carers UK works to support us all!