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Norfolk carers encouraged to apply for grants

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 August 2019

Paddy Seligman, chairman of the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers. Picture: ARCHANT.

Paddy Seligman, chairman of the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers. Picture: ARCHANT.

Carers in Norfolk are being encouraged to take advantage of grants available to improve their lives in the face of the increasing financial strains and stress of looking after a loved-one.

Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers gives grants for practical things like washing machines and laptops, leisure activities and short breaks - it is also the only source of funding in the county for wheelchair power packs.

Now, it is urging more of Norfolk's often unsung army of unpaid carers, young and old, to apply for help.

The call comes as a new government report called admits that far more needs to be done to identify and support carers, not least young ones, and improve their employment opportunities and financial wellbeing.

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The report on the first year of the Government's Carers Action Plan found: "Around 60pc of us are likely to become carers at some stage in our lives. That's a profound change in personal circumstances - something many of us will embrace willingly with love and compassion but often leads to disadvantage."

Paddy Seligman, chairman of the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers echoed the need for greater support for unpaid carers - an estimated 100,000-plus in Norfolk. She said that with more and more people living longer, cuts in public funding for care services and increased pressure on household incomes, the trust's work was more important than ever.

She said: "The strain of 24/7 care can be relentless - nevertheless it is freely and willingly given by the carers with whom we have come into contact.

"Since our charity was formed 20 years ago the Government is doing more to help these unpaid people - but for many, there is a great gap between their needs and what is provided statutorily. So that is why we are needed.

"From time to time carers reach the point when they desperately need a break. We are able to help pay for a short break or some other leisure activity for the carer to help top up their energy levels so they can continue in their caring role. A little occasional pampering makes all the difference."

- Visit the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers website for more details about how it can help and how to apply for a grant up to £300. Or contact Norfolk Community Foundation, which administers the Trust, on 01603-623958 and talk to Stefanie Pearson or Caitlin Hamer.

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