When I first helped with the charity it was because I was frustrated with the ‘system’ and lack of help for carers. Knowing that both of my boys were life-limited and had complex needs made me more determined to fight for what they deserved in life, and that was to be treated like everyone else and have access to what they were entitled to.
People automatically think that all carers are paid a ‘living wage’ for the privilege of looking after a loved one when in fact most of them are living in poverty, if Government statistics are correct. They receive a benefit payment of £62.70 for a 35+ hour week. Most of them are isolated with no support and no one to talk to. They usually have mental or physical health issues and most of them would go without meals to make sure the rest of the family are fed and cared for.
WeLoveCarers has grown from strength to strength this past year. The court case finally finished in February, which we rightfully won. This allowed the charity to start concentrating on what it does best and that is supporting all carers.
We’ve joined forces with Dudley Carer Forum and working together carers of all ages will have a stronger voice in Dudley.
WeLoveCarers isn’t a fluffy charity, it doesn’t get noticed and it certainly doesn’t get any funding, but I’m proud to say WeLoveCarers has over 650 carers on its forum. It supports over 400 children on its play schemes and it’s helped get over £133,000 of benefits to carers they were entitled to.
The Charity works because everyone involved in WeLoveCarers are carers and they know what the difficulties are in their lives.
There are certain people who deserve thanks as we wouldn’t be able to run without them.
To all the volunteers who turn up every Saturday and for 3 weeks over the summer. These volunteers are unsung heroes of the charity (trust me there are too many to name) and parent carers would struggle to get the break they deserve if it wasn’t for them.
To the parent carers who attend meetings, run the forum, help run the coffee mornings, and support groups on a weekly basis.
To Jemma Rylands, Marissa Evans, Holly Westwood, Tom Price, Laura Bradley, Hannah Gardener, Steve and Tracy Bull, Dawn Long, Anne Roberts, Kelly Dimmick, Anne Davies, Rachel Coley, Eve Oakley, Nikki Procter and all the other supporters who help with the charity, be it through fund raising or help organise the play-schemes throughout the year.
To JustJoy Hairdressers for your continued support.
To Greys in Stourbridge, T’s Hairdressers, M. Arnold Vehicle Repairs, Lucy at Sensorywise for supporting carers through the membership discount card.
Lastly, to the trustees who work so hard behind the scenes to keep the charity moving forwards.
To all the fantastic carers and cared for in Dudley (and beyond), WeLoveCarers would like to wish you a very Happy New Year.