London project helps hundreds of unpaid carers find work in the capital

Project receives further £1.7 million funding over next three years.

Five women holding certificates

Over the last three years a ground-breaking Carers Trust project has supported over 150 unpaid carers in London back into paid employment. The same project also worked with a further 600 carers, building their confidence and skills so they are better equipped to find a way back into work. 

Caring responsibilities can cause social isolation and loneliness which makes it difficult for carers to maintain important social and work networks. Many of the carers receiving support from the Working for Carers project had become socially isolated because of the need to stay at home to care for a family member. 

The project, which is led by Carers Trust, is delivered at a local level across London by carer centres in Harrow, Redbridge, Lewisham and Camden. At each of the four hubs, specialist advisers work closely with adult carers to build their confidence so they can start to think about getting back to work. All too often they have no idea how or where to start looking for work. The free service also offers one-to-one support, training opportunities and help with job searching – from help with writing CVs to preparing for interviews.

Unpaid carers and employment – facts and figures 

The number of people across the UK with an unpaid caring responsibility is rising. It’s estimated that there will be 9 million unpaid carers in the UK by 2037. The replacement value of the care already provided by carers for family members is an estimated £132 billion per year – equivalent to the cost of providing a second NHS. Many of them provide long hours of care every week, This can make finding, keeping and progressing within a job extremely challenging. Research shows that in the UK 600 people are giving up work every day to find time to care for a relative. The impact of this is clear to see in London. According to a Carers Trust survey, 68% of unpaid carers in London are unemployed.

Successful evaluation of first phase of the project

A first phase of the project from October 2016 to September 2019 has been independently evaluated by the specialist research and consulting company, Ecorys. Their report, published today, concludes that “Overall, the findings of the evaluation, accounting for both qualitative and quantitative data, is positive.” It also finds that the data “suggests that carers have made good progress in moving towards employment and other outcomes.”

The evaluation found that the project had been particularly successful in reaching carers from ethnic minority communities with 64% of participants coming from London’s BAME communities. The project has also been successful in engaging older carers with 46% of all carers registered on the project being over 50. 

An additional £1,737,444 from its funders – the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund – has now been made available. The money means the project has been extended for a further three years up to September 2022, with hundreds more unpaid carers across London set to benefit from this vital support. 

One carer who had been helped back into work by the project said: 
“It is good for someone like me who has cared for many years and now wants to get back into work. It’s not just about getting any job . . . they are supporting me to change career.”

Click here to read Tanya’s story.

Welcoming the additional funding for the next phase of Working for Carers, CEO at Carers Trust, Gareth Howells, said: 
“Many of the carers we work with have become isolated after years out of employment, looking after a loved one. It’s only natural that they should be anxious that working life has moved on in their absence. Working for Carers understands that. We also understand how daunting many carers can find it to even start thinking about getting back into work. 

“That’s why we are so thrilled to have demonstrated that, with individualised support that takes into account where a person is in their life, even the most isolated carer can start to build their confidence and skills as a first step back on the path to work. Thanks to new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund, Carers Trust and its partners can now build on all the knowledge we have gained so far to help even more carers find their way back into working life.”

Ends

Notes to editor:

Expert spokespeople from Carers Trust, Working for Carers Project Managers and carers who have benefitted from the project are available for interview. 

Embargoed copies of the Ecorys evaluation report are available on request. 

For further information, and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Matt Whitticase on mwhitticase@carers.org and 07824 539481.

About Working for Carers

Community Fund European Union European Social FundWorking for Carers is led by Carers Trust and funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. The project is delivered at a local level across London by carer centres based in Harrow, Redbridge, Lewisham and Camden. Advisers work closely with adult carers aged 25+ to build their confidence so they can start to think about getting back to work. The free service also offers one-to-one support, training opportunities and help with job searching.

Working for Carers has received £3,737,444 of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The total is for both phases of the project over a six year period from 2016 to 2022. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

About The National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest community funder in the UK – we’re proud to award money raised by National Lottery players to communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Since June 2004, we have made over 200,000 grants and awarded over £9 billion to projects that have benefited millions of people. We’re privileged to be able to work with the smallest of local groups right up to UK-wide charities, enabling people and communities to bring their ambitions to life. 

About Carers Trust

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.  www.carers.org.  

We do this with a UK wide network of quality assured independent partners, through our unique online services 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 of a world where the role and contribution of unpaid carers is recognised and they have access to the trusted quality support and services they need to live their own lives.

There are seven million carers in the UK - seven million reasons to care and to get involved. For further information about your nearest service, please visit our website www.carers.org.

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Topics

England / Working for Carers

 

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