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State of Caring Survey 2021

The State of Caring Survey is the UK’s most comprehensive research into the lives and experience of carers. The 2021 survey has now closed.

Our research and responses to our surveys over the last year have helped us to highlight carers’ experiences across the UK to the media. With your help, we have campaigned successfully for better guidance, testing for carers, PPE for unpaid carers, carers' 'support bubbles' and exemptions to allow carers to get a break. Carers were also included in the priority list for the COVID-19 vaccination, and we campaigned for specific advice to support juggling work and care. Carers telling us what their priorities are has also helped to focus our work and help decision makers know what matters to carers. We will continue to campaign for carers to get better support. 

We appreciate each and every person who has taken the time to complete the survey and together you help us paint a picture of what caring has been like in the last year. 

The survey closed on 13 September. We will release a research report in November. 

What we are doing with your evidence

  • Campaigning for increased rights and entitlements for carers by sharing select findings with MPs, Government and local decision makers.

  • Understanding your experiences to argue for better rights such as a right to Carer’s Leave in the workplace.

  • Providing evidence to help improve carers’ experience of services and support to make life easier.

  • Making a strong case for increasing financial support, such as Carer’s Allowance.

  • Providing evidence of the impact of the pandemic on unpaid carers, to argue for better support to manage through and recover from the pandemic. 

State of Caring 2019 - key findings:

In 2019, 8,000 current and former carers shared their experiences and helped inform our State of Caring 2019 report. Read more in the full report here: carersuk.org/stateofcaring-report

Caring costs: Almost 2 in 5 carers (39%) responding to our survey said they are ‘struggling to make ends meet’. Over two thirds of carers (68%) reported regularly using their own income or savings to pay for care or support services, equipment or products for the person they care for.

Cuts to support: 1 in 8 (12%) of carers reported that they or those they support received less care or support services during the previous year due to a reduction in the amount of support from social services.

Carers put themselves last: 53% of carers said that they are not able to save for their retirement, and almost two thirds of carers (64%) say that they have focussed on the care needs of the person they care for, and not on their own needs.

Get in touch:

If you have any questions about the research, please contact our policy team by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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