Celebrating your impact – Carers First

Celebrating your impact – Carers First

Welcome to your bi-annual Trusts newsletter sharing the direct and indirect impact you are having on carers’ lives. We have chosen a selection of stories which we hope you will find inspiring. We would love to know if you find this newsletter helpful and please let us know what you think.

Lighten the Load: Helping carers to maximise their income and make their money further

As the cost-of-living crisis worsens in the UK, those looking after a family member or friend have been amongst the hardest hit.

Our Lighten the Load campaign aims to raise awareness of the financial support available to carers and increase the number accessing that support.

The campaign has been backed by celebrities including Kate Garraway, Jennie Bond and Colin McFarlane. It has received national TV, press and radio coverage raising awareness of the financial support available to hundreds of thousands of carers.

How the rising costs of living is affecting carers

Carers First surveyed over 1,000 unpaid carers in August to find out how the rising cost of living was affecting their lives. Our survey found that more than nine out of ten carers are losing sleep because they are worrying about how to afford the basic essentials. The survey also revealed that over half of carers are already in debt, or will be soon, owing to their caring responsibilities. A third are going without food on a regular basis.

Lorraine, 57, is a full-time carer for her mum. She is disabled herself and is recovering from lung cancer. She survives on her Personal Independence Payment but this barely covers essentials. Lorraine says,

“Mum and I share a bed, so when it broke I had to borrow money to buy a new one. It’s not unusual for me to have less than £1 to my name by the end of the week. I’m not ready for the price rises. How am I going to pay the bills?”

We are hearing of more stories like Lorraine’s from other carers, but many are unaware help is available. With your support, we are helping carers like Lorraine get the help they need to make ends meet.

Carers First on Channel 4

Carers First were invited onto Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4 on Wednesday 19 October to talk about the financial support available to carers. This followed findings from our research with over 1,000 carers showing 9 in 10 are losing sleep about the cost of living.

Click here to watch Ellen Smith from Carers First talk about what benefits, discounts and grants are available to carers (our segment is on at around 50 minutes in). You will need to register (this is free) on All4 to watch.

Putting Carers First

On Monday, we launched a new magazine for carers and were delighted to see 500 downloads in the first two days.

Putting Carers First has been designed with carers, for carers. Inside you will find information on a range of topics such as carers’ rights, financial support for carers, as well as reading about the work we are doing as a charity in supporting carers across Lincolnshire, Essex, London and Medway.

Download your copy here

Youth shelter revamped thanks to young carers

Young people in Medway have been brought together for a graffiti workshop, developed by young carers.

Carers First, young carers, and young people from the local Medway community, all came together to get creative and renovate the youth shelter at Hillyfields Community Park in Gillingham, during a series of Graffiti Jam Workshops between in July.

The series of workshops, which were inspired by ideas shared by young carers who attended Carers First’s Young Carers Action Day event in March, earlier this year, involved spray graffiti art and hip-hop sessions. A total of 18 young people from the local area took part, including 6 young carers, aged between 12 to 18.

One of the young carers who took part said: “There was an incredible, artistic atmosphere and always someone around to help with our art, I felt appreciated and I felt like I was in the perfect type of place to express my love for graffiti.”

Raising funds at Lincoln City

Carers First volunteers will be holding at fundraising collection at Lincoln City’s game on Saturday 19 November. This is part of our Charity of the Year partnership with the club, raising vital funds and awareness of unpaid carers. We are also working with the club to offer free tickets to 30 carers for the game.

If you have any questions about our work or would like more information, please do get in touch.

Thank you for supporting carers

Jamie Langstone