The UKs largest carers charity, Carers Trust, and The Co-operative will mark the round the clock 24/7 nature of caring this 24 of July. 
 
Events will be taking place on 24 July across The Co-operative’s businesses, with support from carers services across the country. Staff will mark the 24/7 date by doing fun, imaginative and daring things, aiming to raise £247,000 on the day to support unpaid young adult carers aged 14-25. 
 
Carers Trust is The Co-operative Group’s charity of the year and the day forms part of its year-long bid to raise £5 million for Carers Trust. 
 
Simultaneously Carers Trust is launching Time for Change – a grants programme that will benefit 4,500 young adult carers aged 14-25. This has been funded by the partnership with The Co-operative and is the first of five projects to be delivered over the next three years, supporting 20,000 young adult carers. 
 
The five projects will raise awareness, support legislative change, provide breaks, an online support portal and develop new services which will help young adult carers to stay in school, take up further educational opportunities and allow them to engage with a range of other services to provide an underpinning support framework, all designed to improve their life chances and ability to interact positively with society.
 
Euan Sutherland, The Co-operative’s Group Chief Executive, said: “Young people in our communities are taking on incredible levels of practical and emotional caring responsibilities and desperately need  our support. Although this is something that will affect most families at some time, it remains an often hidden issue. The fantastic commitment and support shown by our staff, members and customers is raising awareness of this issue – putting it firmly on the agenda while making positive differences to thousands of young lives.”
 
Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said: “I continue to be overwhelmed by the effort that The Co-operative’s staff, members and customers are putting into its partnership with Carers Trust.
 
“At the start of our partnership we dared to dream of a transformative year for Carers Trust and for the young people all around us who desperately need our support and services.
 
“I am delighted to say that the money raised is already making a difference – it is working! We are hearing from young people across the UK who are thrilled that this hidden issue is being recognised and this is thanks to the staggering support of The Co-operative.”
 
Young adult carers are more than twice as likely not to be engaged in education, employment or training. There are an estimated 500,000 young adult carers (14-25 year-olds) in the UK who 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.
 
More than £2million has already been raised by Co-operative staff, members and customers since the charity of the year partnership was launched earlier this year by Sugababe singer Jade Ewan, herself a young adult carer.
 
For more information about The Co-operative’s charity of the year partnership with Carers Trust visit www.co-operative.coop/charityoftheyear.