Word Worker press release:

Carer Support Wiltshire is launching a £25,000 appeal to give the thousands of unpaid carers they support a break.

The Time for Carers appeal aims to raise the money by July – and the charity is already a third of the way there, thanks to donations and grants.

The funds will be used to help some of the county’s 47,500 unpaid carers who look after loved ones, to have time for themselves, away from caring – whether that’s to take an exercise class, see friends, have a pamper session or just enjoy some quality time.

Carer Support Wiltshire is running two launches, one in north Wiltshire and one in south Wiltshire: at Deacons Jewellers in Marlborough and W Carter & Son Jewellers in Salisbury.  The charity has chosen the clock setting to reinforce the message that carers need time. And the launch also promotes national Young Carers Awareness Day (NB Jan 26th), an annual event to promote awareness of the particular difficulties young and young adult carers face.

“Here at CSW we support adult carers, working closely with our partners to improve the identification and recognition of young carers,” said Catharine Hurford, CSW Chief Executive.

“One thing all carers say – whatever their age – is that they need a little time for themselves. Yet our research shows one in three carers never have a weekend or evening break from their caring role, and one in three feel guilty if they do.  Many don’t have time to enjoy some of the things we all take for granted, like a trip to the cinema, taking part in a sporting activity or spending time with friends. This can affect their physical and mental wellbeing and lead to feelings of isolation.

“All the money we raise through this appeal will go directly to enabling carers to have a bit of time to themselves.”

The charity hopes businesses will back the appeal by making it their adopted charity. Individuals or groups and organisations are being invited to hold fundraisers or sponsored events.

Ray Chapman, from Aldbourne, spent more than a year caring for his wife, Vera, when she was ill. He is now a volunteer for CSW. He said: “I am a bandsman, and still managed to get out to band practise once a week when Vera was ill because our son could take care of her, but overall I had very little time for myself so think this appeal is an excellent idea.”

Helen Taylor, from Salisbury, cares for her 18-year-old daughter Maja Reeve, who was born with the rare condition Kleefstra Syndrome. Maja has a range of issues, include severe learning difficulties. Helen said: “During the day Maja is at school, but like most people there is lots to do and I’m kept busy. In the evenings, unless Maja has an activity, I spend my time helping her. This appeal will be fantastic because it will help carers like me to have a little break once in a while.”

Hannah Gale, 18, from Trowbridge, along with her parents helps care for her 17-year-old brother. He has non-verbal autism and suffers from severe epileptic seizures. Hannah is studying for her A’levels and has a plans to go to Imperial College London in the autumn. Hannah said: “For everybody else something like going to the cinema or having a break seems such a small, normal thing to do, but for a carer it is a blessing; just to be able to relax for a while and remember the things you used to enjoy is wonderful.”

CSW works closely with the children’s charity Spurgeons to support carers like Hannah. To tie in with Young Carers Awareness Day Spurgeon’s are launching a joint video with Wiltshire Council, called Wiltshire Voices and featuring young carers and their families living in Wiltshire.

For more information about the appeal and how to raise money or make a donation visit or contact Carer Support Wiltshire free on 0800 181 4118.