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£22,000 grant to boost mental health and wellbeing for unpaid carers

A £22,000 grant, awarded by Zurich Community Trust, will give unpaid carers in Swindon the opportunity for some much-needed time out from their caring roles.

The funding, awarded to Swindon Carers Centre, will be used by the charity’s Adult Carer Groups and Activities Team to provide a busy programme of events and groups, including fitness classes, pamper sessions, social outings and training workshops.

An unpaid carer is anyone who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of an illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, and cannot cope without their support.

Many carers are often unable to make time for themselves, their hobbies and interests. By offering carers a short break, and the opportunity for peer support, Swindon Carers Centre helps people to look after their own health and wellbeing alongside their caring role.

This £22,000 grant comes at an important time for carers in Swindon, who have felt the pressure of caring for loved ones throughout Covid-19. Periods of isolation, due to pandemic restrictions and shielding guidelines, as well as financial insecurities have driven an increase in mental health needs for those carrying out a caring role.

The funding will benefit carers from a wide range of caring backgrounds and age groups, including young adult carers aged 18 to 25, who meet once a month as part of the charity’s ‘Our Time’ group to support each other and to boost wellbeing and confidence.

Swindon Carers Centre plans to use the funding to organise sessions for parent carers, looking after children with additional needs, support for dementia carers and to hold a Christmas party for carers with food and entertainment- amongst other things.

Mark Flay, Volunteer and Partnership Manager at Zurich Community Trust, said:

“It’s fantastic to work so closely with amazing charities like Swindon Carers Centre, who help unpaid carers through the vital support they provide and by making sure the carers make time for themselves. We couldn’t do this without the support of Zurich UK employees who contribute directly from salaries and by taking part in our fundraising events throughout the year.”

Judy Evans, Partnership Manager at Swindon Carers Centre, said: “Thank you to ZCT for partnering with us to support unpaid carers. This grant funding will make a huge difference to the wellbeing of our carers and will enable us to run more events and activities to give our carers a much-needed break. We look forward to seeing Mark at some of our events, so he can see how grateful our carers are and what a difference these events make in-person.”