The Carers Trust charity of the year partnership with the Co-operative in 2013 won the Best Charity Partnership (Short Term) at the Third Sector Awards at a ceremony in London on 13th of May 2014.

The partnership’s aim was to raise £5m in 2013, but the staff, members and customers of The Co-operative exceeded even that ambitious target and raised a fantastic £6m.

The money allows Carers Trust, the UK’s largest charity for carers, to provide desperately needed breaks, information, advice, support and services for the nation’s hidden army of young adult carers. An estimated 500,000 14-25 year-olds in the UK care for a family member or friend who are ill, frail, disabled or have mental health or addiction problems and cannot cope without their support.

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said: “I have been overwhelmed by the success of our partnership with The Co-operative Group and, with the support and enthusiasm of its staff, members and customers. We dared to dream of a transformative year for Carers Trust and for the young people in communities who, at a crucial time in their lives, desperately need our help, support and services – it is with thanks to The Co-operative that our dream is becoming reality.

“Employees of The Co-operative across all of its businesses including Food, Pharmacy, Funeralcare, Banking Group, Online Electrical and Legal Services have carried out all kinds of amazing fundraising activities alongside a host of community-based store events. They have raised awareness of this often hidden issue and highlighted the challenges facing young adult carers in society, a group that has until recently fallen between two services, being: adult carers and young carers.”