Carer Support Wiltshire are delighted to have been awarded National Lottery funding of almost £88,000 to spend on new services for unpaid carers in Wiltshire.

The funding is for two projects, one of which will provide counselling sessions to carers over the next six months, covering the Covid-19 crisis and through the transition back into post crisis life.

Recent research carried out by Carers UK shows that 70% of carers in the UK are having to provide more care for their loved ones during the Covid 19 crisis. More than half (55%) say that they feel overwhelmed by their caring responsibilities and are worried about burning out in the coming weeks.

Over £40k will go to the counselling project, providing sessions with qualified counsellors by phone or Zoom to carers. Feedback from carers has shown an urgent need for such a service and, while it’s something that many charities are offering, there are significant waiting lists. The Lottery funding will enable Carer Support Wiltshire to offer an accessible, locally-run service to carers in the county.

Jon Berridge, Partnerships and Development Manager for Carer Support Wiltshire said: “It’s estimated that in Wiltshire alone, over 30,000 people have suddenly become unpaid carers due to the Covid 19 crisis.  Caring for a loved one can be tremendously rewarding, but it can also take its toll on a carers own health and wellbeing. Many carers don’t have time to look after themselves properly and that can lead to physical and mental health problems.

Thanks to the Lottery funding, carers in Wiltshire will be able to access up to 6 sessions with a counsellor free of charge. Talking to a counsellor helps the carer focus on themselves for an hour, and that can make a huge difference.”

A similar amount of the funding will be spent establishing an online fast-track carer support service. This will better support carers through the Covid 19 crisis by providing immediate access to resources, and links to support and information, based on a carer’s unique situation.

Carers registered with Carer Support Wiltshire who would like to register interest in a course of counselling sessions should contact the charity on 0800 181 4118 or by emailing admin@carersupportwiltshire.co.uk.