New programmes set to support young unpaid carers

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The East of England Co-op's Community Cares Fund is helping to provide support to unpaid carers in our region, including both adult and young carers, some only four years of age.

This year, almost 270,000 unpaid carers in our region, including 50,000 young carers, have been faced with new challenges, taking on increased caring responsibilities in the face of Coronavirus.

The latest grant of £57,000 will support eight projects across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex, providing support and respite.

A survey, carried out in July 2020 by Carers Trust, found that 67% of the young carers surveyed were more worried about the future, with 69% feeling less connected to others and 40% of saying their mental health had worsened in recent months. In addition, almost 8% of young carers and 15% of young adult carers reported providing over 90 hours of care per week.

Niall O’Keeffe, Joint Chief Executive for the East of England Co-op, said: “This past year has been difficult for many, with social distancing and shielding, working from home and lockdown removing the opportunity to spend time with family and friends.

“For those with additional caring responsibilities, lockdown measures have compounded the feeling of isolation.

”With Coronavirus very much still impacting our daily lives, we felt it important to ensure that those who are doing so much for others, get access to the support they need personally, and we are therefore delighted to support this initiative.”