Caring for the elderly

A project set up Freemasons is helping up to 33,000 adult, young and parent carers with donations of more than £715,000 to support them with essential items, life skills, counselling, crisis support, activities and breaks.

According to Carers UK, the number of carers grew exponentially during the pandemic, reaching more than 13 million.  Now, however, approximately 20,000 unpaid carers are receiving access to crucial support online, funded by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body of the Freemasons.

The UGLE is also working to protect young carers, who are under increasing pressure as they support family members during lockdown.

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In particular, the Freemasons project is providing 870 young carers with respite through activities and breaks, while 760 young carers are being provided with essential items and life skills.

Elsewhere, almost 100 schools are receiving assistance to identify hidden young carers and provide support. In total, more than 1,800 young carers are receiving advice, support and information.

In addition to its support for young carers, the Freemasons are providing funding for crisis support, advice and information to almost 3,000 adult carers. Meanwhile, the project is also assisting 1,050 parent carers with advice and support.

Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of the UGLE, said: “These have been very difficult times for everyone and especially for carers. With the donations, we are helping with training, counselling, support, mental and physical health, as well as activities to reduce stress.

“We want to recognise the enormous contribution carers make to families and communities throughout the UK. They do their best because they want to make a difference and care deeply for their family members.”

It is estimated that there are around 700,000 young carers in the UK, according to the charity Young Minds, and many have to provide emotional support to family members and loved ones in need.

The UK’s ageing population has led to a massive demand for carers across the UK, leading to an increase in the number of children and young adults who need to care for family members or others. This has led to recent discussions about how the mental health of young carers can best be supported.

National charity Carers UK has also been encouraging unpaid carers who are under the age of 40 to come forward for their first COVID-19 vaccinations even if they are not known to health and care services.

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