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Carers UK announced as Cabinet Office’s Charity of the Year

14 July 2015

The Cabinet Office has today named Carers UK as its Charity of the Year for 2015/16.

Carers UK, a national charity that represents 6.5 million people who are currently looking after a seriously ill, disabled or older loved one, was chosen by employees from a shortlist of three charities and will work over the next year in partnership with the Cabinet Office.

Staff will share their professional skills and expertise, conduct fundraising activities across the department and volunteer their personal time to support Carers UK.

The Cabinet Office will also be the first business partnership to use the charity’s new volunteering microsite, which will be launched at the end of July. The site, which has been funded by a grant to support Carers UK’s volunteering programme through the Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund (a partnership between the Cabinet Office and Nesta), will enable members of staff at Cabinet Office to register as ‘Employee Volunteers’.

The Cabinet Office continues to demonstrate its commitment to carers by becoming an active member of Employers for Carers, an initiative to help employers retain staff who are carers, and supporting those within the Cabinet Office who are juggling work and care.

Six thousand people become carers every day, and 1 in 9 are juggling work and care. The transition to becoming a carer can have a devastating impact on people’s lives – including on their health, finances and connection with the outside world.

Carers UK was established in 1965 to help improve the lives of carers like these, providing advice and acting as a support network. It is predicted that by 2037, there will be as many as 9 million carers in the UK.

Rob Wilson, Minister for Civil Society said:

“As part of the Cabinet Office’s commitment to a truly compassionate society, this partnership will help to build more carer-friendly communities. I am glad that we are working with Carers UK to make sure hard-working carers get the opportunities they need to succeed.”

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“We are delighted that the Cabinet Office has chosen Carers UK as their Charity of the Year. As we mark our 50th Anniversary, we know that supporting those caring for older, sick or disabled loved ones has never been more important. Working in partnership with the Cabinet Office brings many exciting opportunities to collaborate and share skills and experience that can make life better for carers.

“As well as benefitting from the expertise of Cabinet Office colleagues, we look forward to working together to enhance the support in place for those Cabinet Office employees combining work and care. Juggling work and caring for a loved one can be tough but the right support from an understanding employer and peer support from other carers, can bring huge benefits for carers, their families and employers.”

Richard Heaton, Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, said:

“I’m delighted that Carers UK has been chosen as the Cabinet Office’s Charity of the Year. The partnership is a chance for us to share a broad range of experience and expertise with the charity - from commercial and digital, to legal and policy making.  And I know we'll learn a great deal from Carers UK over the next 12 months as well.”

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