Bloom & Wild raises £400,000 to support unpaid carers with an extra £25,000 for Black Friday
This Black Friday, Bloom & Wild and its customers are celebrating a fundraising campaign that has raised a staggering £400,000 to support Carers Trust’s work to support the UK’s unpaid carers.
Since October 2020, 15% of the profit from each Florist’s Pick bouquet sold by Bloom & Wild is being donated to Carers Trust, and for this Black Friday, Bloom & Wild are donating an extra £25,000 to the charity. That will bring the overall total raised by Bloom & Wild to over £400,000 in just over twelve months.
This support has been especially vital during the COVID-19 pandemic when unpaid carers told Carers Trust they were exhausted due to having to take on even more caring responsibilities, without any respite.
In just over one year, Bloom & Wild funding has helped many unpaid carers with group support, skill development opportunities, and respite where they get the chance to do something for themselves.
The money has also been used by Carers Trust to develop policy work, champion carer’s rights and strengthen its network of local carers services.
Bloom & Wild have been a big supporter of younger carers. The £400,000 has contributed to projects that both identify young carers within schools and give confidence to young adult carers that they can get recognition and support.
Executive Director of Fundraising at Carers Trust, Svetlana Kirov said: “Unpaid carers have been able to get respite and take time out to make a change for themselves thanks to Bloom & Wild and their customers. Together we had initially hoped to raise £150,000 in the first year of our partnership. However, Bloom & Wild customers have gone above and beyond, helping to raise a phenomenal £400,000 so far for unpaid carers.
“This has enabled Carers Trust support many more unpaid carers through our network of frontline partners - we are so grateful to Bloom & Wild customers and staff for this transformational support.”
Aron Gelbard, Co-Founder and CEO, Bloom & Wild says: “For us, this Black Friday is more than just a sale. It’s a chance for everyone to care wildly - including us. We’re delighted to be donating £25,000 to Carer’s Trust, on top of the £385,766 our amazing customers have already helped us to raise for the charity over the last year. We’re so pleased that our donation will help unpaid carers get a much-needed break and we hope to raise more awareness for the 7 million unpaid carers in the UK.”
For more information and to find local support visit Carers.org
Melanie* has a very demanding caring role for both of her parents and her husband, who have a range of physical and mental health conditions. Her parents have come to live with Melanie, who also has two teenage children and works full time in a stressful job. Melanie would like to retrain in a job that she can do from home, working flexibly around her caring role. She was awarded a grant of £200 towards the cost of a course in Sports Massage Therapy.
Melanie said: “I wanted to try something new and completely out of my comfort zone when I was trying to decide whether or not to change jobs. With caring for my parents, who live with me, as well as my husband and being parent to two teenagers, I wanted to explore a profession that could work around all of my caring commitments.”
A friend of Melanie’s suggested a course introducing massage techniques for remedial and therapeutic uses. She discussed her thoughts with her support worker at her local Carers Trust frontline partner, who helped Melanie apply for funding to pay for the course. Melanie didn't think grants could be offered for something like this could be offered for something like this, so she was surprised and pleased when her application was successful.
The course was incredibly informative and she felt had gone back to school. Melanie continues: “I really enjoyed learning about the different techniques as well as discovering how this would help the person receiving the sports massage. So far I've given massages to my parents, children, husband and some close friends. As my confidence increases I hope to get a paying client.
“I feel proud of myself for trying something new, this is completely different from anything I've done before. I wouldn't have had the opportunity if it wasn't for the grant I received. Thank you so much.”
Parvati* cares for her 5-year-old son who has Cerebral Palsy and Autism. It can be very difficult to take him in taxis or on public transport due to his challenging behaviour and mobility issues.
Parvati applied for a grant for driving lessons. Soon she will be able to drive her son to hospital appointments and take him out for the day. Being able to drive will also enable her to see family and friends, reducing the isolation she is experiencing.
Parvati has since had driving lessons, although progress was slowed due to lockdown she passed her theory and has her driving test booked in for February but may get to do her test earlier if she continues to make good progress. She sounds very positive and looking forward to being able to drive.
*names have been changed to protect identity