This paper examines the views of carers who have received a carer’s assessment following the introduction of the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004. The Act ensured for the first time that a carer’s desire to take part in paid work, education or training, and leisure opportunities was considered. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with carers to illuminate their lived experiences. Six themes emerged from data analysis: finding out about entitlement to an assessment; gaining recognition as a carer; partnership working with service professionals; carers’ awareness of support availability; desired outcomes; carers’ unmet needs in relation to education, work and leisure. Some carers were knowledgeable about the support that was available to them and others were quite unaware. This affected their ability to access help in order to cope with their roles. Carers welcomed the opportunity to discuss their individual needs and wanted to be treated in a holistic way by practitioners. The complexities around partnership working with care organisations permeated several of these themes and thus carers’ experiences may be defined as a ‘wicked issue’ requiring creative responses to the issues that concerned them. Solutions offered should be tailor-made and not delivered from a menu of ‘what is available’.