There are an estimated 129,000 carers within Surrey alone, and it is predicted that by 2037, the number of carers across the UK will have risen from 6.5 million to 9 million. The Community Foundation for Surrey is proud to support carers within the county through the Carers Support Guildford Fund.
This week, learn just how the fund is providing invaluable support to carers locally.
Following the closure of local charity Carers Support Guildford, the Community Foundation collaborated with the Trustees of the charity, along with the Guildford Philanthropy Fund, and set up a new fund in the same name in 2017, to create a lasting resource specifically to support the wellbeing of carers.
Carers Support Guildford (CSG) Charity had been running for 19 years providing advice and support to local carers. After its closure, we wanted to find a way to continue to support the thousands of carers within Guildford Borough. We strive to make life for carers as easy as possible and want to spread the word about this new fund, to let carers know there is support available to them.
Michael Wheeler – Panel member, Carers Support Guildford Fund
The role of a carer is often unknown to those who are not directly affected, but for many, it is a full-time job on top of their own responsibilities and day to day lives. People who are carers are often faced with a number of challenges themselves, such as social isolation, physical health issues, depression, low self-esteem and financial stress, to name a few. In turn, all of which can have a negative impact on their own personal wellbeing.
The fund makes small grants of around £250-£400 to carers within Guildford to provide support and help alleviate some of the issues they face. Grants are awarded for respite, or for items not available as part of statutory provision, for example; contributions towards respite breaks, club membership, courses, second hand computers or other IT equipment and travel costs. Carers in need can apply for a grant via a carer adviser or professional, for example; a health visitor, social worker, mental health worker or housing support officer.
Below are some valuable examples of how grants from the fund have helped carers locally:
“I purchased a laptop with the grant received from the Carers Support Guildford Fund and it has made a big difference to my life. The old one was always crashing causing me a lot of additional stress. I have enough stress in my caring role.” JT
“My husband and I care for our two daughters who suffer from mental ill health. The grant we received helped us pay for a much-needed family holiday where we enjoyed some quality time together. Thank you so much.” CL
“I was sleeping badly partly because of the stress of caring for my seriously ill mum and aggravated by my old and very uncomfortable bed. I am so grateful for the grant from CSG which went towards the purchase of an orthopaedic bed. My sleep is much improved, and I can cope better with the challenges of my caring role.” KG
We have been delighted to have had this way of continuing to help local people, partnering with Guildford Philanthropy and the Community Foundation for Surrey, whose motto of “Local Giving for Local Need” fits very well with the new fund’s aim. Having been a Trustee of Carers Support Guildford for many years and having seen what terrific work was done to help and support carers by the advisers, I am so pleased that we were able to continue, albeit in a small way, the help that carers need so much and to continue to raise the profile of the plight of carers. We hope this fund raises awareness of the inspiring local individuals working hard to care for others.
If you are a carer or know of someone in Guildford who could benefit from support within their caring role, please visit the Carers Support Guildford Fund webpage for more information and how to apply for a grant.
The Community Foundation for Surrey is responsible for 81 funds across the County, and as in this case with Carers Support Guildford, we have worked with a number of Trusts who have transferred to the care of the Foundation. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.