As many services provided by charities feel the impact of the recession, your pennies are even more valuable to keep crucial helplines and advice services running.
One of the charities that shares part of every donation, Carers UK, support the millions of people in the UK who look after an elderly relative, sick parent or disabled family member, many of whom need help to navigate the complex welfare system.
Every day, 6,000 people in the UK become carers for the first time, often without the knowledge that they may be entitled to support, advice and financial help. Some carers have to choose between heating and eating and cannot afford simple luxuries such as an evening out, or going to the hairdresser – things that we all take for granted.
Two such carers who are supported by this charity are parents Jean and John, who have provided round the clock care for their son James, who has autism and epilepsy, for nearly 30 years.
“It’s a work-life care balance – it has taken over our lives. Everything revolves around caring for James,” says John. Jean also keeps an eye out for her mum who is elderly with Alzheimer’s and has mood swings. “It’s definitely a juggling act, but most the time I can manage it,” she says.
Three out of five people will end up caring in their lifetime and your pennies help ensure carers like John and Jean have the support they need at the end of a phoneline or email. For any new carers, Jean advises to take each day a day at a time.
“Join a support group,” she says. “There’s all sort of things you don’t know about if you’re not in contact with someone else which can help.”
The Advice Line and email service provided by Carers UK is staffed with expert advice workers who answer 16,000 enquiries from people like Jean and John every year. They help carers maximise their incomes and signpost them to local sources of support.
Your spare change has added up to £16,000 for Carers UK so far, helping them to keep their advice services open and free for any of the 6 million carers in the UK today.
To hear more about Jean and John’s story watch the video above, or click here to find out more about the work carried out by Carers UK.