A new programme to support the unpaid carers of dependent people across the whole of Wiltshire is to be launched in April.

Carer Support Wiltshire, which helps more than 8,000 carers, has updated and extended its support group programme with informative groups, café drop-ins, specialist meetings and helpful training to try to reach as many of Wiltshire’s 47,500 carers as possible.

Catharine Hurford, head of operations for Carer Support Wiltshire, said: “We have worked closely with carers from across the county over the past six months.

“In our consultations, carers told us they would like better quality advice and information at the groups they attend, for groups to run monthly, and the opportunity to socialise with other carers and share experiences and advice.

“We are excited about the new groups, cafés and training structure, which helps us reach more carers and respond effectively to their diverse needs on a fixed budget.

“Many carers enjoy the social and practical support these kinds of groups will offer. But we know it is essential we continue to listen to, and act upon, carers’ concerns so the new programme will continue to evolve.”

There will be structured groups that will run once a month in six areas – Chippenham, Devizes, Durrington, Marlborough, Salisbury and Trowbridge – which will provide bite-sized training, high-quality advice and information regarding the caring role.

Carers cafés will run in 12 towns across the county.

Carer Support Wiltshire will also be running bi-monthly specialist groups for carers of people with mental health problems and parent carers.

Alongside the groups, carers can access a wide range of free training to help them in their role, including first aid, dementia care, manual handling and money management.

To find out where the nearest group or training session will be taking place, visit the website carersinwiltshire.co.uk where people can also register for support online. Alternatively, carers can call 08001 814118 for more information.