History of Carers Trust

Carers Trust has been operational since 1 April 2012. We combine the knowledge, skills, expertise and experience of our founder charities – The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care – and all of the Carers Trust Network Partners.

Brief history of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers was founded in 1991 on the initiative of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, as the successor of the George Square Trust. At that time, people caring for others were scarcely recognised as a group requiring support.

The Carers National Association, which had just been formed at that time through the merger of the Association of Carers and the National Council for Carers of the Elderly, was beginning to give carers a voice, but there was little or nothing in the way of services or support other than respite.

However, Community Care reforms (validated through legislation in 1993), were ensuring that more and more care would be delivered not by paid and trained workers, but by family members and friends – those whom we now call carers.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers acknowledged that all carers require information, support and recognition of their individual needs and, consequently, meeting these needs became the focus. In its first years, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers developed a model of service provision throughout the UK, through charitable fundraising at a UK-wide level, and by financial support from local statutory sources. 

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers funded a growing network of The Princess Royal Trust carers centres.

Funded for three years (one third by The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and two thirds by local statutory services who undertook to take over The Princess Royal Trust for Carers’ funding at the end of the three year period), carers centres were able to respond to the needs of carers.

Most of these carers centres were established as independent charities, although some were run by managing agents such as local Councils for Voluntary Services or the Red Cross. The management committee of each carers centre was comprised mainly of carers, although the manager and staff were largely professional care workers.

Brief history of Crossroads Care

In 1973, the soap opera Crossroads featured a storyline where the son of the Crossroads Motel owner had a car accident and was paralysed. His mother had to care for him at home.

Noel Crane, a local man from Rugby, who was being cared for by his mother at the time saw the programme and wrote in, complimenting ATV, the programme makers, on their portrayal of the needs of someone with a disability.

They took him on as an adviser on disability issues and shared his concerns about the lack of support for people like his mother, whose life had undergone significant change as a result of his accident.

ATV then donated £10,000 in 1974 to set up a pilot project in Rugby with the aim of supporting carers in a practical way.

In its first year of operation, Crossroads supported 26 families. By 2012 Crossroads Care was supporting over 43,000 carers and their families through a network of local Crossroads Care schemes.

Find out more about the work of Carers Trust today.