Staff at the Co-operative Group have been working non-stop for 24 hours to raise money for the Carers Trust.
The marathon fundraising event for the society’s charity of the year took place on 24 July, as an acknowledgement that an estimated 500,000 young carers facing challenges 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Throughout the day, staff members took part in firewalks, abseils, bungee jumps and other challenges in order to raise £247,000 at the Group’s new head office complex in Manchester. As part of the fundraising efforts, a team-leader from Aldershot worked one sponsored 24-hour shift.
The Group has so far raised almost £2.5m, but staff members are aiming to reach £5m by the end of the year.
A special guest at the Angel Square event was singer, songwriter and actress Jade Ewan, who said she was delighted to be involved in this project. A young adult carer for her blind parents, Jade became an ambassador of the project in January, when she gave up her birthday to attend the launch of the three-year partnership between the Co-operative Group and Carers Trust.
“I am here today because I am a young carer myself and this is a charity I am really passionate about. It’s a charity close to my heart because I am a young carer myself; my brothers and sisters are the same.
“I am not surprised at all that the Co-operative Group are involved, I think there’s a sense of community there. They’ve done such an amazing job, they’ve raised so much money,” said the Sugababe singer.
Laura Vickery, International Development Manager at the Co-operative, said the partnership with Carers Trust falls in line with an existing business priority of the Group to inspire young people.
“Our founding values and principles include a commitment and concern for community. So it’s really in our DNA to want to give something back,” she said.
Ms Vickery added that the Charity of the Year project is also a fantastic opportunity for all the Group’s businesses to work together and raise awareness of this important issue.
Chloe Ann, a 19-year old young carer from Blackpool said the event was “a great experience” that helped her to connect with other young carers.
“I am here today to raise awareness of a massive charity a lot of people don’t know about, have a little bit of fun, talk to other girls and know that I am not on my own. There are other girls just like me,” she said.
The money raised for Carers Trust will provide breaks, information, advice support and services for 14-25 year-olds facing the challenges of caring.
Thea Stein, CEO of Carers Trust, said: “I am delighted to say that the money raised is already making a difference – it is working! We are hearing from young people across the UK who are thrilled that this hidden issue is being recognised and this is thanks to the staggering support of The Co-operative.”
• For more information about the Co-operative’s Charity of the Year partnership with Carers Trust visit: www.co-operative.coop/charityoftheyear