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Learning on Prescription

Support for carers


Carers UK say,

  • The most recent Census 2021 puts the estimated number of unpaid carers at 5 million in England and Wales.
  • This means that around 9% of people are providing unpaid care. However, Carers UK research in 2022 estimates the number of unpaid carers could be as high as 10.6 million (Carers UK, Carers Week 2022 research report).
  • 4.7% of the population in England and Wales are providing 20 hours or more of care a week.
  • Over the period 2010-2020, every year, 4.3 million people became unpaid carers – 12,000 people a day (Petrillo and Bennett, 2022).
  • 59% of unpaid carers are women (Census 2021). Women are more likely to become carers and to provide more hours of unpaid care than men. More women than men provide high intensity care at ages when they would expect to be in paid work (Petrillo and Bennett, 2022)
  • One in seven people in the workplace in the UK are juggling work and care (Carers UK, Juggling Work and Care, 2019).
  • Between 2010-2020, people aged 46-65 were the largest age group to become unpaid carers. 41% of people who became unpaid carers were in this age group (Petrillo and Bennett, 2022).

It is therefore probably not much of a surprise to learn that in 2023 the proportion of NHS workers juggling their jobs with an unpaid caring role for an older, disabled or seriously ill relative or friend remains high, with the latest survey's findings showing nearly one in three (31%) NHS employees have unpaid caring responsibilities. These caring responsibilities can have an adverse impact on the physical and mental health, education and employment potential of those who care, which can result in significantly poorer health and quality of life outcomes.

Improving Me works in partnership with the Workers Education Association (WEA)to explore and develop accessible and high quality Learning on Prescription opportunity and is therefore delighted to announce the WEA launch of a carers support programme. This reflects Improving Me’s women’s health and maternity programme concern to address the social determinants of health and the impact throughout the life course.

The WEA, recognise the importance of unpaid carers. They understand that it's important for carers to take time out for self-care. This is especially true if the carer is also caring for children with special needs or a family member with disabilities.  Taking care of yourself helps you to provide support for your loved ones. So it's important to remember to make time for your own wellbeing while balancing your caregiving responsibilities. 

The WEA has therefore curated a diverse programme of FREE online courses designed to provide distraction, escape and joy which are :

Designed to fit around your care responsibilities

They are all online, so there is no need to travel, and our tutors understand that sometimes you need to take a break from your responsibilities. 

All our courses for carers (or those who have previously been carers) are completely free. You do not need to receive a carer's allowance. If you are unsure if you qualify, call our friendly learner services team on 0300 303 3464 and they can help. 

Find time for your interests

The courses are very diverse and include everything from: 

  • health and wellbeing for carers to help you manage your own health and stress and
  • virtual visits to stately homes, so you can visit wonderful places around the UK from the comfort of your living room and much more


  • the history of tea and tea drinking to virtual yoga
  • the history of Dracula and Bram Stoker

If you want to know more just follow the link below

Jump to courses.

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