an EU EQUAL Community Initiative Programme ACE 2 (Action for Carers and Employment) 2005-2007

CIRCLE – the Centre for International Research into Care, Labour and Equalities – was responsible for the University of Leeds’ research partnership within the £8m EU EQUAL Community Initiative Programme ACE 2 (Action for Carers and Employment) 2005-2007, led by Carers UK.

At the University of Leeds, our activities within the partnership were focused on the Carers, Employment and Services (CES) study.

The research team have conducted a major survey of working carers: men and women that provide unpaid care for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, disabled or frail, alongside their paid employment. The survey was nationwide, and included detailed study of ten localities in England, Scotland and Wales: Hertfordshire, West Sussex, Southwark, Leeds, Sheffield, Sandwell, Falkirk, East Ayrshire, Anglesey and Swansea.

The research explored working carers’ experiences of combining work and care, and accessing services, with a particular emphasis on the situation of ethnic minority carers, gay and lesbian carers, carers in a variety of financial circumstances, and carers living in rural and urban localities.

Researchers conducted face to face interviews with carers in selected localities, and the team explored service provision and local policy developments relating to carers and those they care for.

The findings were based on the following:

  • 1,909 responses to the CES national survey that targeted carers of working age
  • 134 face-to-face interviews with carers, aged 25-64, living in ten selected localities in England, Scotland and Wales;
  • Interviews with professionals with responsibility for care support at the local level;
  • Detailed analysis of the 2001 Census;
  • Assessment of a wide range of documentary sources.

Principal Investigator

Professor Sue Yeandle

Research Team

Cinnamon Bennett

Lisa Buckner

Gary Fry

Christopher Price


Carers UK

CES Report Series

The Carers, Employment and Services (CES) reports contextualise the findings of the CES study in the wider body of available evidence, and particularly the detailed statistics about carers available from the 2001 Census, which asked a question about unpaid care in 2001 for the first time.

This report explores women’s and men’s experiences of becoming a carer: the impact of caring in the first two years, as experienced by carers of working age; the longer term impact of caring on carers’ lives when a caring role is sustained over two or more years; carers’ views and perspectives as they deal with the different ways in which caring can come to an end.

This report looks the experiences of carers who are combing unpaid care with paid work – how they manage and cope and the difficulties which sometimes arise; why some carers have left employment to care, and what this means for them and their families; the perspectives and experiences of carers who want to work but do not have a paid job.

This report discusses the many different characteristics of Britain’s 4.3 million carers of working age: carers in Britain’s ethnic minority communities; caring and its challenges for carers in rural and urban contexts; caring in different financial circumstances, and the problems faced by those who are ‘caring in poverty’; carers and how caring affects their health; caring in its various personal contexts – the relationships between carers and those they support, and the different conditions and needs of those they care for.

This report outlines recent developments affecting local service provision for sick and disabled people and their carers; differences in the arrangements made in Scotland, Wales and England under devolved government; carers in ten local contexts – differences between carers and the demand for care support at the local level; local arrangements for supporting working carers; the resources allocated to supporting carers; examples of best practice and innovation in supporting carers who wish to combine work and care.

This report describes the objectives, design and outcomes of the ACE projects; the role of research in supporting the ACE strategic aims and summary of the findings of the Carers, Employment and Services (CES) study; the work undertaken by the ACE partners in England, Scotland and Wales, and their main achievements; the role of transnational activities in ACE, and their significance for future policy-making at European level.

This report outlines them aim findings from the CES study about carers in England, Scotland and Wales, it provides a description of the study methodology; the implications of the findings for the future public policy agenda on working carers; the rationale for developing better support for working carers at local and national levels; key challenges and how they can be tackled: recommendations about policy and practice for service providers, employers, central/local government and the voluntary

CES Locality Reports

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