This contribution is devoted to those who take care of others, given here the general name of carer. It is stated that there are an estimated 6.8 million carers in the UK looking after people with a very wide range of health and social needs. Caring for others is an activity that can have both good and adverse effects on the life of a carer. More attention has been focused on the bad effects but some research looks at the positive aspects of caring. The main factors affecting carers' lives are noted. In 1999 the DH launched a National Strategy for Carers with the objective of giving carers more control over services, providing community support and responding to a great diversity of need. A section here looks at carer experience of the services and support that they accessed with reference to research up to 2004. Partnership between carers and the professionals they access is discussed. Cites numerous references.