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Parent Carers

parent carer

Carers in Bedfordshire have a variety of services for Parent Carers (carers of under 18s) including; groups, 1-1 support, training and advice.

We provide support for all unpaid carers, you do not need to have a formal diagnosis or receive disability benefits to access our support services.

Who is a Parent Carer?

A parent carer is a parent (or adult with parental responsibility - ie Grandparent, Foster parent/Guardian etc), who cares for a child or young person aged 18 or under with any additional need. Often the needs of young person are life-long and the challenges being faced develop as the child/young person grows. Parent carers are life long advocates for their children. 

Being a parent carer can mean juggling various aspects of your and your child's lives at the same time, including but not limited to:

  • schooling/education
  • health
  • housing
  • social care including respite
  • siblings 
  • employment/benefits
  • family relationships and dynamics

Our parent carer support workers, Darran Youell and Jon Clingan are experienced support workers and parent carers themselves, so they understand first hand about the difficulties families face when raising a child with additional needs. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. They run regular training sessions on a variety of topics relevant to caring for a child/young person with additional needs.


We host a range of groups specifically tailored for Parent Carers with an experienced support worker running the sessions to provide information, guidance and one-to-one support. You can share information and experiences with other parent carers as well as come along to useful events and training opportunities. 

Please note that some of the following groups are restricted to specific parent carers

GroupDescriptionFor WhoDates and Details
Parents Together

 A chance to meet others, get information and advice; speakers often come along to this group.

We run three Parents Together Groups a month, with one group in the following localities; Bedford, Biggleswade and Leighton Buzzard.

*Please note that dates and times may change in the school holidays

 For parent carers or those who support a child under 18 with additional needs

Bedford: 2nd Friday of the month from 9:30am - 11:30am  at Community Centre, 147 Church Lane, Bedford, MK41 0PW

Biggleswade: 2nd Thursday of the month from 10am-12pm at The Hub, Ivel Valley School, Biggleswade, SG18 0PT

Leighton Buzzard: 3rd Thursday of the month from 10am-12pm at The Dukes, 7-9 Leighton Road, Heath & Reach, LU7 0AA

Dads Group

 Chat and relax with other male parent carers, play pool, read the newspaper, have a kick around, use the WiFi- have a break and some time to yourself.

Access to support, advice and information from our Parent Carer Support Workers

 For male parent carers

Open to Dads, Step-dads, foster dads, Grandads, male partners etc 

3rd Monday of the month at 7pm to 9pm

£2 entrance fee

Carers in Bedfordshire, Sandland Court, Pilgrim Centre, Brickhill Drive, Bedford, MK41 7PZ

Parent Carer Surgery

You can book a 20 minute meeting with Parent Carer Support worker, Jon for direct support.

You must book your appointment in advance by calling St Johns School.

For parents who have a child attending St Johns School only 

St Johns School, Kempston

Tuesdays: 8th January, 5th February, 5th March, 2nd April, May 7th, June 4th, 2nd July

Parent Carer Support Worker, Jon, is also available at the following groups:

GroupDescription For WhoDates and Details

Cauldwell Primary

Parent Carer drop in

Parent Carers are welcome to drop in to this group and access support.

A variety of speakers attend this group to provide information and advice.

 All Parent Carers

Your child does not have to attend Cauldwell Primary.

Held in the family centre (back of car park) 
9am - 11am

21st January, 25th February, 25th March, 29th April, 20th May, 24th June

Parent Carer Forum Monthly group with speakers and support.  Parent Carers living in Bedford Borough  At the Child Development Centre, Hill Rise, Kempston
10am - 12pm
7th January, 4th February, 4th March, 1st April, 20th May, 10th June
Grange Academy Coffee Afternoon   A coffee afternoon, developed by parents of the Grange.

 For Parent Carers

who have a child at the Grange Academy.

 31st January 1.30pm - 3pm
Please contact Jon for more details.

We also have a range of groups open to all unpaid carers across Bedfordshire. Please see here to find a group that suits you. We also have a training programme to support you in your caring role or to improve your wellbeing as a carer.

Parent Carer Podcast

During Carers Week 2019, Bedford Radio interviewed Misbah who is a parent carer for her son, aged 11, who has autism and dyspraxia. They discuss the day-to-day life of caring for a child with additional needs and the pressue that it can put on the family.  Listen Here

As a Parent carer, you may have other children in your household who help to care:

Other children living at home may need support in recognising themselves as having caring responsibilities and the impact this has on their own childhoods. The Young Carers team may be able to help.


The move from child to adult services is frequently stressful for parent carers and often means you might be in need of some guidance. We can provide someone to talk to, an explanation of the processes involved and also request meetings to address concerns.

Download our Parents Together information leaflet here.

See our Parent Carer Facebook Page for group reminders and for information about local resources, activities and news.


Darran Youell
Darran Youell

Darran Youell

Parent Carer Support Coordinator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Suite K, Sandland Court, Pilgrim Centre, Brickhill Drive, Bedford, MK41 7PZ

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