How Does the Lottery Work to Support Carers?
Being a carer is hard work and can be incredibly stressful. The events of 2020 have only amplified that stress by making it harder for carers to have access to community support. Thankfully, there are organisations that believe in helping carers, and The Health Lottery is one of them. How does the lottery work to support carers? By raising funds for programs that provide them with resources, emotional outlets, and community connections.
Who Are the Carers?
The NHS defines a carer as anyone “who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support.” Carers can include both adults, and minors who help with the care of a sibling or even an ailing parent. They also report that there were around 5.4 million people serving as unpaid carers in the UK as of 2011.
Depending on the level of care their loved one needs, a carer may find that their responsibilities are equal to or exceed the demands of a full-time job, which can make it difficult for them to maintain a career while also serving as a carer. This is without considering the emotional toll of being a carer; caretaking is emotionally intensive work, and can significantly impact the carer’s relationship with the person they are caring for.
Of growing concern to health related charities is the plight of the “sandwich generation.” This refers to people, usually in their 30s and 40s, who find themselves simultaneously caring for young children and aging parents. Carers in this position not only have to provide a wide variety of care, but they must also deal with the special emotional challenge of helping children cope with the decline of their beloved grandparents.
Young carers are another especially vulnerable group. Carers aged 14-24 may have to miss days of school to see to their caring duties, and even if they do not miss school, they have less time and energy for homework and for the valuable extracurricular activities that allow them to relax, spend time with their peers, and develop special skills.
How Does the Lottery Work for Carers?
It’s vitally important for carers to receive support, and to have the ability to occasionally step away from their carer duties and relax. The Health Lottery is proud that grants from People’s Health Trust have gone to support a number of great programs which support carers.
One such program is Brixton’s Carers4Carers, which provides a variety of activities for carers. This includes yoga classes and other fun physical activities, lunch clubs, and reflexology. This group has received £50,000 in funding thanks to Health Lottery London East and People’s Health Trust.
And how does the lottery work for young carers, even those who may still be too young to play lottery themselves? By raising money for organisations like Wigan & Leigh Young Carers, which supports carers aged 14-24 in the borough of Wigan.
We Must Care for People who Care for People
All told, People’s Health Trust has made grants of over £3 million to programs that specifically serve and support carers across Great Britain. So the next time you’re in the mood to try your luck on the best lottery sites, make sure you choose one that supports carers, because they deserve all the help we can give them.