A FUNDRAISING appeal has been launched by Carer Support Wiltshire that will raise money to give unpaid carers in Wiltshire a break.

Many have found the current coronavirus situation difficult and struggled with isolating at home away from family, friends and our usual activities. But for unpaid carers – those who look after a loved one with a disability, long term condition or serious illness – this can be their daily reality.

Carers often struggle to find time for themselves, for hobbies and to socialise with others. They may not be able to leave the person they look after on their own at home, or they may feel guilty taking time to enjoy themselves.

Research conducted by Carers UK shows that 40% of carers haven’t taken a day off from their caring role in over a year. Yet taking regular breaks has been shown to be the most effective way to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation and promote good mental health.

Rachel Demery, Carer Support Wiltshire Community Fundraising Officer said: “Last year’s Time for Carers Appeal raised £20,000 for carers and this money has been used to fund all sorts of breaks, from climbing sessions to counselling and art classes.

“It can also cover respite care, giving carers some much-needed downtime. Many carers don’t consider their own needs enough and can end up reaching breaking point. We’re looking for donations and would also love to hear from individuals, businesses and groups who would like to hold an event or run a fundraising challenge in aid of Time for Carers.”

Ellie Freeman, Tidworth is a carer to her 23 month old son, who was born with Spina Bifida. Last year she was awarded money to give her a break from her caring role.

Ellie said: “My son has bladder, bowel and mobility issues and has had hospital appointments and admissions as long as my arm. Caring for him has been very stressful and a very uncertain time in my life. He cannot be left anywhere for longer than 4 hours unless the person looking after him has been trained in his care by a community nurse, which puts extra stresses on my life.

“I received money to use towards holistic therapies. Although I haven’t been able to have them yet due to receiving the grant just before the pandemic, I am excited that I will be able to. Having the money towards this is going to give me time to relax without having to worry about looking after my son.”

If you would like to donate visit carersupportwiltshire.co.uk/timeforcarers/