New Online Support for Carers 
Forward Carers and Bridgit Care have joined forces to enhance their support for unpaid Carers across the nation by providing Carers with their own virtual assistant called Bridgit. This partnership will combine Bridgit Care’s online support system, self-help plans, and local signposting alongside Forward Carers’ digital Carer Friendly Photo ID Card, access to online support groups, training, and discounts. 

Carers may often find themselves waiting; waiting for an appointment with a health professional, social worker, a response from the council etc. This situation is frustrating and can evoke feelings of being helpless and powerless. Bridgit, fills the ‘waiting’ gap and empowers Carers to find information, advice and support themselves. But rather than spending time trawling through the internet, Bridgit, has all the information in one convenient place that can be accessed day or night, all year round without having to register first. Bridgit, is designed to be user-friendly with simple navigation and a clean layout, so Carers can explore comfortably even with limited digital skills.

Designed by Carers and care experts, the online tool allows people to explore advice around their caring role, get support in relation to their wellbeing, finances and employment as well as prompting carers to actually think about themselves and their life goals.

Carers can then discover local and national support services in addition to events near where they live. All of this information is then pulled into a ‘self-care plan’ that the carer has built themselves around their own specific needs.

Health Advice
Using content supplied by the NHS website, Carers can look up their own health conditions as well as those of the person they care for. Carers can access information about any medications and their side effects. There are even tools to check your heart age, blood pressure, and mood including access to a personal quit smoking plan.

Carer Friendly ID Card and Discounts
The platform will also host Forward Carers award-winning digital ‘Carer Friendly Photo ID Card’ which is the easiest way to verify an unpaid Carer when out and about. Cardholders (physical* or digital), can log into other online support, such as a Benefits Calculator and virtual support groups, plus access to hundreds of discounts. Being a Carer often has a financial impact, the card provides a gateway to discounts and offers when shopping online or when out and about (where sourced). In addition, Carers can gain peace of mind as the card incorporates In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact details.  

Forward Carers manages Birmingham Carers Hub, a service that provides free support for Carers in Birmingham, as part of this service, local Carers will be able to assess the toolkit and the digital Carer Friendly ID Card free of charge.

“Getting help for carers who do an invaluable but often unseen job, unpaid, is at the centre of everything we do. Working with carers and care professionals in Birmingham has been a great experience for us and I hope this truly local online tool encourages people to come forward and sign up as a carer to get all the support that is available.” 

Darren Crombie, founder of Bridgit

“We are absolutely delighted to announce our exciting partnership with Bridgit Care, dedicated to providing exceptional support for unpaid carers nationwide. Together, we are combining Bridgit Care’s comprehensive online support system and self-help plans with Forward Carers’ user-friendly, digital Carer Friendly ID Card. This powerful collaboration aims to empower Carers by offering easy access to a wealth of resources, online support groups, discounts and offers, and crucial emergency contact details, ensuring their well-being and peace of mind.” 

Chantell Marler, Head of Service for Forward Carers

Further Information
You can find out more about the Carer Friendly Photo ID Card here, you have the option of buying a physical card or a digital version or you can buy a bundle that includes a physical card, lanyard and card holder. 

*Birmingham Carers will only be eligible to receive a free physical card if they do not have access to a smartphone/device. For any Carers in Birmingham who have a smartphone but are unable to connect to data due to living costs, please visit this page