Carers Trust has been chosen by The Co-operative as its Charity of the Year 2013; a partnership that will work to transform the lives of the UK’s young adult carers.

The money raised during the partnership by The Co-operative’s 100,000 staff will help reduce carers feelings of isolation and provide desperately needed breaks, information advice and support for young adults living with the challenges of caring.

Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative, said: “Caring is often a hidden issue and our partnership with Carers Trust aims to change that.

“Forming an integral part of our commitment to inspiring young people, the focus of our charity of the year relationship will be on 14-25 year olds in our communities who have taken on practical and emotional caring responsibilities for a family member or friend who cannot cope without their support.

“I am delighted to announce that we are now able to offer them our support and, I am confident that with the help of our staff, customers and members we will be able to make a massive difference to thousands of young lives across the UK.”

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said: “Our partnership with The Co-operative will focus on the lives of young adult carers and the money raised will transform many of these young people's lives, not just for today, or tomorrow, but for ever - importantly, it will also take the hidden issue of unpaid carers to centre stage. We are looking forward to a wonderful, transformative year.””.

There are an estimated 6 million carers in the UK – a figure forecast to rise to 9 million over the next 25 years – of which, approaching 500,000 are aged 14-25 and are caring for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.