Quilter’s charity raises over £10,000 to support young carers at Christmas
We’re delighted to have raised over £10,000 as part of our Christmas campaign to support young carers through our charity, The Quilter Foundation. The money reached an estimated 285 young carers, giving support to:
- around 100 young carers with their wellbeing, for example through a winter care package, with items such as hot chocolate, hand cream and bath salts, for a young carer to take care of themselves
- 80 young carers with emergency needs: this could include food parcels for them to have a healthy Christmas meal, where their family had been over-stretched financially, or helping young carers to stay warm by purchasing new winter clothes
- 15 young carers with their mental health, for example, receiving 1:1 support sessions with a support worker, or counselling, helping them feel a little less stressed in the lead up to Christmas
- 80 young carers to connect to their peers, helping them to combat social isolation. This was done through peer support groups as well as activities such as a festive biscuit decorating virtual workshop over the Christmas period, bringing them together in a safe space and providing them with some respite
- 10 young carers with grants, for example to purchase laptops, so that they could stay connected to their friends and family over Christmas and beyond.
Today, there’s an estimated 700,000 young carers in the UK looking after loved ones with disabilities, long-term illnesses, mental health issues or addiction problems.
The Quilter Foundation launched a partnership with Carers Trust and The Mix in October 2018, which is dedicated to transforming the lives of young adult carers in the UK.
Bashir’s story – Kingston Carers’ Network
Bashir was referred to our Quilter Inspiring Change project in January 2020 by teachers at his college, who were concerned about his levels of anxiety due to his sister’s highly complex support needs and health concerns. His sister requires constant care, and this heavily impacts Bashir.
Bashir is a lovely young man. He initially lacked in confidence and had low self-esteem but was keen to engage in the service and became a regular at drop-in sessions. He had issues in the past with being bullied and struggles with social communication, often expressing his inability to ‘fit in’.
Since starting with the project he has been able to build on his aspirations, securing part time work as a steward at a local sports group which is brilliant progress and evidence of his improved self-esteem.
Since Covid restrictions have come in and the face-to-face groups have ceased, Bashir has not been able to attend his regular drop-ins. We successfully applied for funding for a laptop so that he could continue with his learning from home. We arranged for some additional one-to-one sessions with his mentor so that he could be shown how to use virtual platforms and improve his computer skills.
Bashir has struggled with the recent lockdowns which have impacted on his mental health. Staff/mentors have met with him regularly to check on his wellbeing. We also dropped round a Christmas hamper for him with plenty of treats to help lift his mood and will continue to text and call on a regular basis until group sessions resume later in the new year.