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£3.45 million funding boost for Carers Trust to support UK's most vulnerable unpaid carers

Carers Trust leads new programme to support over 13,500 carers worst affected by pandemic.

Carers Trust is pleased to announce it is working with 25 programme partners to use £3.45 million of funding to boost support for over 13,500 unpaid family carers. The programme, Making Carers Count, will support unpaid carers from community groups which, until now, have received little support for their caring roles.

The reason so many of these unpaid carers have, up to now, encountered barriers to accessing support is because they are either LGBTQ+, from an ethnic minority community or young. Male carers have also received relatively little support for their caring role.

The Making Carers Count programme will help provide the support that is urgently needed now for these under-represented carers. 

Many were also disproportionately impacted by some of the worst effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the need to remain housebound to shield those they care for and drastically reduced incomes, all with no identified support available to them.

The expansion and creation of targeted support has been made possible thanks to funding from the Covid-19 Support Fund. This has been used by Carers Trust to support 25 local carer services to deliver targeted project activities in their local areas until end March 2024. These activities will support approximately 13,500 unpaid carers.

Welcoming the Making Carers Count awards to the 25 local carer services, as well as the start of project delivery, Carers Trust’s Head of Grants and Programmes, Trisha Thompson, said:
“For too long, far too many unpaid family carers have struggled, unrecognised and unsupported, to provide essential care and support for their loved ones. This investment will be a game-changer for the lives of 13,500 carers and all those they care for. It means that Carers Trust and front line carers services will have far more capacity to identify, support and involve carers from those under-represented communities so they can access the appropriate carer support they so desperately need if they are to carry on caring for their loved ones, both now and long after the Covid-19 pandemic.”


For further information, and to arrange interviews, please contact: 

Notes to Editor:

(1) Funding to Carers Trust from Covid-19 Support Fund will be used to support unpaid carers as follows:

Adult carers (18+) from under-represented groups – including unpaid carers from ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ carers, male carers and unpaid carers supporting someone with problematic substance use. 17 Network Partner-led projects will deliver local, meaningful and strategic projects, aiming to reach over 10,300 unpaid adult carers.

Young carers (up to 18) and young adult carers (16–25).  Carers Trust is supporting eight Network Partners to develop new services in areas where dedicated support for young carers and young adult carers is widely inconsistent or does not exist. These services aim to reach 3,300 young carers and young adult carers.

Increasing access to peer support. This part of the programme is being led by Carers UK. It aims to improve and diversify online support for unpaid carers who have seen face-to-face support severely reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions.

(2) The Covid-19 pandemic has piled new challenges on unpaid family carers whose stressful lives providing round-the-clock care for family members had already brought many to breaking point long before coronavirus.

  • Carers Trust research found that one in six carers (16%) were spending an extra 40 hours a week on their caring role as a result of the pandemic and lockdowns.
  • Separate Carers Trust research found that 40% of young carers aged up to 18 reported that their mental health had deteriorated since the pandemic.

Carers Trust and its Network Partners have quickly adapted their services. However, we have faced capacity challenges in effectively meeting the greatly increased need for support.

It has been particularly difficult to engage and support groups already facing social exclusion, including carers from under-represented groups.

Carers Trust’s 2019/20 Network Partner survey showed that of the unpaid carers supported across the UK, only 12% were from ethnic minority communities and only 0.6% were from LGBTQ communities. Only 7% of Carers UK’s membership of unpaid carers are from ethnic minority communities.

(3) These local carer services are quality-assured independent charities offering services to unpaid carers at a local level and operating within the Carers Trust Network.

Carers Trust is a major charity for, with and about carers. We work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.  

We do this with a UK wide network of quality assured independent partners and through the provision of grants to help carers get the extra help they need to live their own lives. With locally based Network Partners we are able to support carers in their homes through the provision of replacement care, and in the community with information, advice, emotional support, hands on practical help and access to much needed breaks. We offer specialist services for carers of people of all ages and conditions and a range of individual tailored support and group activities.  

Our vision is that unpaid carers count and can access the help they need to live their lives.  


Coronavirus / Health / UK


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