TimeBank and Carers UK care for families who provide care

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National volunteering charity TimeBank has joined with Carers UK to launch a new volunteer mentoring project to support carers.

More than six million people in the UK are looking after disabled, ill or older relatives or friends - unpaid. It's been estimated that in doing so they save the country £119 billion a year. It can be a rewarding experience but it can also bring emotional challenges, taking its toll on relationships, family life and carers’ own health.

The Carers Together projectwill recruit and train volunteersto offer confidential e-mentoring to carers throughout England and face-to-face mentoring to carers in the Birmingham area.

Now TimeBank wants to hear from volunteers for the project who are carers themselves, or have caring experience, so they can draw on the experiences and techniques that have helped them in the past. No special skills are needed – just time, patience and commitment.

If you are interested in volunteering, take a look at www.timebank.org.uk/carers-together, email carers@timebank.org.uk or phone 0121 236 2531.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of TimeBank, says: “TimeBank is a UK leader in the field of mentoring and we know from our experience over the last 12 years what a powerful impact it can have – on volunteers as well as beneficiaries. Carers do so much for others, saving the country billions. But they often feel isolated and sometimes struggle to cope. This great new project is all about caring for them.”

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK says: “Our research shows carers really value having someone to help talk through the difficult challenges they face. Carers Together combines Carers UK’s expertise on supporting carers with Timebank’s know-how on volunteering to test new ways of providing online and face-to-face support for family members with caring responsibilities."

Carers Togetherhas been funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding across the UK. The Fund aims to enable others to make real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need.