Co-operative to fundraise for young carers charity, Carers Trust, in 2013

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The Co-operative has chosen the young adult carers charity, Carers Trust, as its Charity of the Year, 2013.

The charity was formed in April this year when The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care came together.

It is now set to benefit from The Co-operative’s 100,000 staff putting fun into fundraising to raise the money needed to reduce the feeling of isolation and provide desperately needed breaks, information, advice and support for young adults living with the challenges of caring.

In 2011 The Co-operative’s staff, members and customers raised a record £7.2m for Mencap and its sister charity ENABLEScotland, leaving a legacy for a generation of young people with a learning disability.

Next year (2013), The Co-operative’s partnership with Carers Trust will work to transform the lives of the UK’s young adult carers – people in communities who are more than twice as likely not to be in education, employment or training and, many of which, have not taken a break of two days or more since they started caring.

There are an estimated 6m carers in the UK – a figure forecast to rise to 9m 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.

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: “We are absolutely delighted, we believed that something extraordinary needed to happen to achieve a UK-wide profile for our cause and, this is it.

“Whether on the bus or train, in a supermarket or walking down the high street, you are passing people who are carers.

“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 wonderfultransformative year.”

Table: Regional Data – total number of carers (of all ages)

REGION Carers (of all ages)
Scotland 479,934
N. Ireland 184,361
Wales 339,827
London and the South East 1,339,370
North West and IOM 722,095
West Midlands 556,685
East Midlands 433,923
North East 275.832
South West 492,442
Yorkshire & Humberside 516,546
East Of England 517,893