Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Emergency Fund to provide a lifeline for unpaid carers during coronavirus crisis

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Carers Trust is launching today an emergency appeal to help unpaid carers who are struggling to cope with the enormous impact of Coronavirus and self-isolation while still providing care and support to family members and friends.

All donations made online by the public will go straight into Carers Trust’s Carers Emergency Fund. The Fund will be used to ramp up Carers Trust’s existing grants programme, providing more small grants more quickly to those carers who need them most.

It will provide grants of any amount up to £300 directly to carers, helping them overcome the hurdles that Coronavirus is throwing up on a daily basis.

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Carers Trust has been receiving a huge upsurge in communications through its Network from carers looking after people, young and old, whose lives have been made extremely challenging as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown. 

One Carers Trust Network Partner has reported a 100% increase in the number of emails it is receiving from carers since the outbreak of Coronavirus.

The same Network Partner reports a 177% increase in people visiting its website (an average of 466 visitors per day).

All communications from carers, whether calls or emails, are prompted by concerns about Coronavirus.

Examples of problems described by carers. These problems will be addressed through grants made available by Carers Trust to carers in need:

  • Lack of money for petrol from a carer whose 98 year-old father was released from hospital after 28 days battling Coronavirus. The carer did not want paid care workers coming into the house and risking re-infection. With her only income being Carers Allowance of £67.25 per week, however, she could not afford to make the 18 mile round-trip three times a day to care for him properly.
  • The lack of money to meet the cost of purchasing a small tablet so that an unpaid carer can keep in regular contact with the person they care for, reducing their loneliness and isolation and ensuring their health doesn’t deteriorate.
  • A carer had no money to buy a cooker after ordering one from Bright House just before they went into administration. She had no further funds to get one in any other way. The carer has three children with disabilities who need very particular foods.
Photo: MIND.

Welcoming today’s launch of Carers Trust’s emergency appeal, Carers Trust’s CEO Gareth Howells said: “Unpaid carers are the backbone of our society, providing huge levels of care to family members that are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. But all too often the commitment and sacrifices they make go unnoticed.

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“At Carers Trust we are constantly hearing about the daily struggles of unpaid carers and how their lives have now been thrown into turmoil as a result of Coronavirus.

“Some unpaid carers simply cannot find food because food banks have closed. Others are spending considerable amounts of money caring for their family members because it’s not safe for the social care workforce to do so.

“That’s why we are launching the Carers Emergency Fund. It will increase the number of grants we are able to make and ensure this happens as quickly as possible to ease the pressures on unpaid carers.”

“This Fund also shows Carers Trust’s determination to stand by these heroes, keeping them afloat so they can continue to care for their loved ones.

“I’d urge anyone able to do so to visit the Carers Trust website to donate and show their support for unpaid carers who really are the backbone of our social care system.”

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Sir Trevor Pears CMG, Executive Chair, Pears Foundation, continued: “The Coronavirus crisis has made an already difficult situation for carers far, far worse.

“That’s why we think it is so important to support the Carers Emergency Fund which will significantly increase funds that can speedily be turned into grants for carers.

“These grants will serve as a real lifeline at this time of crisis, getting financial support swiftly to vulnerable unpaid carers.”

To find out more about grants and discounts available to unpaid carers click here.

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