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Carers Trust awarded £1 million to support thousands of exhausted unpaid carers

Carers Trust will use the money to help thousands of exhausted, unpaid carers access much-needed respite services and breaks from their round-the-clock caring roles.

The £1 million is jointly awarded by Pears Foundation, already a long-term core funder of Carers Trust’s work to support unpaid carers across the UK, and The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport [DCMS].

The grant is funded through the Government’s Community Match Challenge scheme which was introduced to support frontline charities working with those most affected by COVID-19, and is part of the Government’s £750 million charities package. The funding is targeted at charities, like Carers Trust, experiencing increased demand for their services, and will benefit vulnerable communities served by these charities by preventing the closure of vital services and providing respite care and support.

Unpaid carers at ‘breaking point’

Even before Coronavirus, unpaid carers were exhausted, with many saying they had reached ‘breaking point’. (1)

Coronavirus has significantly exacerbated burnout among unpaid carers and the need for properly funded respite breaks for carers has never been more urgent. Respite breaks are not holidays; they are a basic necessity, helping unpaid carers recharge and re-energise so they can continue their caring role.

Carers Trust’s expertise in delivering small grants to unpaid carers

Carers Trust has a long-term track record in managing large-scale programme spending. And together with its network of over one hundred partners offering specialist carer services at a local level, Carers Trust is the leading UK charity awarding small grants to unpaid carers to help address their immediate needs. Between May and July this year, Carers Trust’s Emergency Fund for carers distributed over £447,000 worth of grants directly to 1,572 unpaid carers, helping them cope in the immediate aftermath of the Spring lockdown.

Funding to support thousands of unpaid carers

The £1 million funding from the DCMS and Pears Foundation will support thousands of unpaid carers. In the first phase of the project, two thousand carers will be supported in the period up to the end of March 2021. Carers Trust will initially work with 37 of its Network Partners, distributing grants so carers can access local respite provision as well as replacement care. The funding will also develop infrastructure to provide longer-term benefits for unpaid carers. This will include training of volunteers to offer virtual online support and telephone befriending services, as well as counselling services and food box deliveries.

Sir Trevor Pears CMG, Executive Chair of Pears Foundation, said:

“This new funding demonstrates a deepening of our long-term commitment to supporting the UK’s unpaid carers. The importance of unpaid carers in taking pressure off our stretched health and social care services cannot be overstated. They are the glue holding society together and we want them to know just how much we value everything they continue to do for their families and communities, especially after Coronavirus has made their caring roles even more challenging.”

Director of Fundraising and Communications at Carers Trust, Svetlana Kirov, continues:

“This funding partnership shows how government and the voluntary sector can come together to form effective partnerships to address the very real challenges and pressures experienced by some of the most marginalized and vulnerable people in society. Carers Trust is thrilled to be working with its funders to channel money directly to thousands of unpaid carers across the UK so they can get the respite they need to continue in their caring roles.”

Carers Trust is separately developing its own Respite Fund for unpaid carers. The fund will continue work to provide respite breaks for carers following completion of the first phase of funding delivered by the DCMS and The Pears Foundation. The Carers Trust fund, to be named The Princess Royal Respite Fund for Carers, will aim to secure long-term funding from a range of actors including trusts and foundations, major donors, corporate supporters and members of the public. The fund is scheduled to launch in early summer this year.


Notes to editor:

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

Matt Whitticase, tel: 07824 539481.

(1) Even before Coronavirus, budgetary pressures and the closure of many local services, meant carers were having to spend more and more time caring for a family member with a long-term illness, disability, addiction or poor mental health. A recent Carers Trust survey found that two thirds of unpaid carers are now spending 50 hours or more per week on their caring role. The survey found this trend has been severely exacerbated by Coronavirus. One in six unpaid carers reported they were spending 40 hours per week on top of their normal caring hours due to the effects of lockdowns and the need to self-isolate.

(2) 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.

(3) Pears Foundation is an independent family foundation that builds long-term relationships with its grantees. Led by the Pears family with the support of a full-time professional team, Pears Foundation invests around £20 million annually in a wide range of charitable organisations and causes, prioritising unrestricted and core funding. In response to the Coronavirus epidemic, the Foundation has pledged to increase its annual expenditure and is working with existing partner organisations to support them through the crisis. www.pearsfoundation.org.uk


Coronavirus / Health / Our funders / UK


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