Blackpool Carers: Countdown to Cash Quest - for Carers
Three in five us will become carers at some point in our lives. We will care for a loved one - a child, a mother, father, grandparent, partner, husband, wife, sister.
We will do so because we care. And because no one else may be there for them.
But who’s there for us? Specifically for us, as carers?
Carers Trust Fylde Coast Carers Centre currently looks after more than 3000 registered carers in Blackpool - from young children who may help out with sisters or brothers or even parent their own parents because of illness, accident or substance misuse issues … through to one lady who’s 94 years old looking after her husband who has dementia. They have been married for 67 years. Eunice isn’t about to walk away now but when she’s feeling particularly ‘lost or alone’ as she puts it she remembers a trip out with carers dementia support worker Anne Wright and volunteer Peter Mercer who took her a vintage tea room in the countryside. “I go through every minute of that day in my mind and I smile and fall asleep happy,” she explains.
That’s before we mention Aya, 11, helping her mum Devra get through chemo after cancer - and who’s ended up in hospital six times in 12 weeks because of repeated infections. Aya monitors her temperature and watches for signs of infection … as well as helps her mum bathe, dress, and get up and about.
Then there’s Mark, a dad, who looks after his wife, and their four kids, and has had to pack in work to cope. She is bipolar.
And John, 50, who heads a council department, and gets up at 5am to ensure wife Bev, 53, diagnosed with MS eight years ago has everything she’ll need. She taught him to cook during the early stages of her illness - he hadn’t boiled an egg before. Today he’s carving a following on social media as the Ice Cold Chef, and has just started cooking workshops for young carers.
Of course, finding the core the core funding that powers the main service, all those support workers who want to reach at least 13k hidden carers, costs a fair bit.
So does fighting the corner for young carers, the invisible army, who don’t want to acknowledge that they are ‘different’ because to be different is often to get bullied. Twenty five per cent of young carers claim to have been bullied. One in 12 youngsters in every class is a carer - that’s two on average.
Which brings us to the charity’s corporate Cash Quest 4 Carers.
June 8 to 14 is national carers’ week. In Blackpool the Tower is lighting up blue - with a magenta heart - from Monday to Wednesday in honour of the colour of caring and to shine a light on the plight of hidden carers.
The week marks the start of a three month cash quest 4 carers to find and fund the next Young Carers Champion for Blackpool.
Lauren Codling 20, has been doing just that for the last 12 months, lobbying parliament, health and welfare watchdogs, organising activities, raising awareness and - with the help of Rank - developing a real nose and nous for business through the charity’s allied social enterprise the Wood Hub.
Carers Trust Fylde Coast is looking for local businesses, enterprises, community groups, health and fitness centres and others to help them raise money to employ the next champion - someone to make a real difference to the quality of life for young carers in the resort and raise awareness of the challenges they face in daily life.
The aim is to turn a £50 starter fund (which is needed back!) into as much money as is legally and ethically possible within 100 days.
It’s all about making serious money – but having fun along the way.
Lsst year Blackpool master butcher Nigel Wilkinson cooked up carers’ bangers - and bagged the most innovative fundraiser award.
Helen and Damian Broughton of Danbro accountancy raised the second highest amount - around £1.3k - with an ice bucket challenge (for staff!) and a tea trolley challenge (for them).
Giving that they had to make and deliver the morning cuppa to more than 150 employees at Whitehills business park (it’s now 180 plus at Lytham’s Jubilee House) they might have opted for the ice bucket challenge at the end.
The Goalden Girls, over 50s runners and walkers, took to the stage of Funny Girls to go Gangnam style for a memorable evening.
And Sandcastle WaterPark made a real splash - and raised most cash - as the team of ‘superheroes’ rode a wave of fundraising …which led to over £6,100 raised.
So the charity’s cash quest 4 carers is back - and means business in every sense.
It starts on June 11 with a launch at the Village Herons Reach and runs for three months - and if that’s a big enough challenge the charity is also embarking on a £750k capital quest to fund new headquarters in a landmark local building.
Because one thing’s for certain. Carers need the service even those who don’t even know they are carers yet. Or will be. And in monetary terms our not-so Big society owes them an immense debt of gratitude not just for all they do - but all they save the state. Carers were estimated to save the state £113 billion back in 2011. Do you honestly think it will have gone down since?
Even the most conservative estimate places it at around £130 billion…. If you want to learn more follow the charity @blackpoolcarers.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jacqueline Morley .