Millions of people are working long hours as unpaid carers, and that number has risen during the coronavirus pandemic.
Young carers have been hit hardest, with the closure of schools meaning they spend longer looking after vulnerable family members.
New Covid restrictions mean the work of Britain’s carers is more important than ever as they look after the vulnerable. One in five people across the UK is now classed as an unpaid carer, with the number of people in the role rising from 9.1 million to nearly 15 million during the pandemic.
But if you’ve ever played The Health Lottery ’s draws or online scratch cards, you’ll have contributed towards the £3.5million they’ve raised for 80 projects that have directly supported carers since 2011.
Young carers now have to combine their duties with home schooling, and more than half say their education is suffering and they feel overwhelmed.
But money raised through The Health Lottery supports community charities such as Wigan & Leigh Carers Centre, which provides peer support, training and residential breaks to 14-17-year-olds. The service also supports young carers from age the of 5 to 24.
Carmen France-McGrail, young carers manager, notes that the coronavirus pandemic has made life even tougher for young carers.
She says: “Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown has created additional problems for our young carers and young adult carers.
“Going to school or college gave them respite from their caring duties at home. Now that schools are closed, the situation is worse than before, as the pressure is constant.
“These have been challenging times, but with the help of The Health Lottery, we have been able to continue supporting our young people.”
So if you’d like to help support charities like this, and be in with the chance to win thousands of pounds, then play The Health Lottery.
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