A specialist support service for carers in Birmingham is celebrating its first anniversary with a call for more carers to come forward for help.

The Carers Emergency Response Service (Cers), which was commissioned by Birmingham City Council and is managed by the Crossroads Care organisation, celebrates its first anniversary on April 1.

Carers who sign up are registered on a database to receive support in an emergency and are given help to create an action plan detailing what the person they care for needs.

If the Cers team are informed that an emergency has occurred, the plan is activated. Carers are given a card so that if they are involved in an accident or medical emergency, the police or ambulance service can contact the team.

In its first year alone, Cers has handled 113 emergencies and more than 2,000 people have expressed an interest in signing up to the service, but the team would like to see more carers coming forward.

With an estimated 100,000 carers in Birmingham, the team at Cers is urging carers to shun the stigma of asking for help.

Councillor Sue Anderson, cabinet member for adults and communities, said: "The service is a resounding success. They have been receiving excellent feedback from both carers and social care professionals, with social workers in particular praising the support that they receive from Cers.

"When carers sign up to the service, they fill in feedback forms and so far 100% say that knowing that Cers is there provides them with peace of mind."

The Birmingham-based scheme is the largest in the country, is totally free and does not affect any benefits that may be received.