The Rank Group PLC celebrates fundraising milestone with £3 million raised for unpaid carers
This Christmas, Carers Trust and The Rank Group Plc (‘Rank’) are delighted to announce their fundraising partnership has now raised £3 million for unpaid carers since its inception in 2014.
This major milestone has just been reached thanks to the tireless fundraising of both staff and customers of Rank, including Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos.
The money has been used to provide 12,757 unpaid carers with support from Carers Trust’s UK wide network of over one hundred frontline partners. These local organisations provide unpaid carers with peer-support and much-needed respite breaks via the Carer’s Fund.
The money raised from the partnership is also funding grants for carers to buy essential household items like fridges and washing machines that would otherwise be unaffordable, as well as the chance to develop new skills.
The money has been raised through a myriad of activities including sports challenges, donations, payroll giving and club fundraising.
Rank’s long-standing support for carers became even more important following the start of the pandemic. Rank’s employees raised much-needed money for the Carers Trust Emergency Fund which supported 1,944 carers during the height of the Covid-19 emergency from May to July 2020.
Angie from East Kent was one of the carers supported by Rank during the pandemic. Angie’s son has Down’s Syndrome, and she also cares for family members with dementia. Her local carers’ organisation, Carers’ Support East Kent, helped unpaid carers get together on Zoom to take part in Christmas craft workshops. The workshops give the carers a break from their caring role, are fun and help them support each other.
Angie said: ”I cared for my dad, my auntie and now my mother-in-law who now lives with us It’s hard work and can be lonely but it’s very rewarding. Carers’ Support East Kent have been very helpful, phoning me to check in, setting up craft sessions and bingo on Zoom during lockdown with other carers. – I want to say thanks for the fundraising as it meant lots. I looked forward to them, I got to know more carers and had fun.”
During the pandemic unpaid carers told Carers Trust they were now spending more time caring for a family relative. This, coupled with the closure of local services due to lockdowns, led to unpaid carers feeling even more isolated and lonely. Peer-support groups funded by Rank have had a positive impact in addressing loneliness and isolation among carers by helping them get online to reach out to other carers and family members during lockdowns.
Svetlana Kirov, Executive Director of Fundraising at Carers Trust, said:
“Rank’s partnership and seven-year support for Carers Trust has enabled us to make a huge difference through our campaigning and advocacy work for the UK’s unpaid carers.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the £3million raised so far. which has transformed the lives of so many carers over such a long period. The money raised thanks to the tireless efforts of staff and customers at Rank, Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca means that Carers Trust and its Network of local support partners have been able to continue their life-changing work through a very challenging period.”
John O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Rank, said:
“ I am tremendously proud of all our Rank colleagues and customers who have fundraised over the last seven years and helped us hit the fantastic £3m milestone. It is really quite an achievement.
“The links with our local communities are incredibly important for us at Rank and we look forward to continuing our support to Carers Trust and to the many dedicated carers within our local communities who do such an amazing job in providing help and support to those in need.”
Jill Attwell, Chief Executive Officer at Carers’ Support East Kent said:
“Although these well being sessions were originally planned as face to face sessions, Covid meant we switched to online via Zoom. This was an amazing peer support project which lifted carers’ spirits through a difficult time. Some of the carers who were involved are now continuing to meet online and have the confidence to run sessions and activities themselves which is a great outcome. A big thank you to the customers of Rank, Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos who made this happen."
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