The Co-operative hits £2.5M milestone for Charity of the delivering funds for young adult carers

31 July 2013

Fun is delivering much needed funds to support a generation of unpaid young adult carers as staff at The Co-operative

There are now an estimated 500,000 14-25 year-olds in the UK who care for loved ones who are ill, frail, disabled or have mental health or addiction problems and cannot cope without their support – a growing issue described as a “ticking time bomb”.

Forming part of The Co-operative’s commitment to Inspiring Young People, it aims to raise £5 million for Carers Trust during 2013 and has seen colleagues cycle from Lands End to John o’Groats; tackle the three peaks challenge; abseil down Manchester’s near 400ft CIS Tower; hold charity balls; organise coffee mornings and host a giant picnic - all raising much needed money to provide desperately needed breaks, information, advice, support and services for unpaid young adult carers facing the challenges of caring.

Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative’s Head of Community and Co-operative Investment, said: “Young people in our communities are taking on incredible levels of practical and emotional caring responsibilities for loved ones - all too often to the detriment of their own health, well-being and aspirations - and they desperately need our support.

"This cause touches so many of our staff, members and customers. It remains an often hidden issue but together we can change that and provide the opportunities to enable young adult carers to achieve what many of their peers take for granted – to stay in school or, take up career or further educational opportunities and, to have ‘time’ to consider their own needs and aspirations.”

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said: “I continue to be overwhelmed by the effort that The Co-operative’s staff, members and customers are putting into its partnership with Carers Trust.

“At the start of our partnership we dared to dream of a transformative year for Carers Trust and for the young people all around us who desperately need our support and services.

“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.”

The money raised by The Co-operative will fund five “time” themed programmes designed to: raise awareness and understanding; support legislative change and develop new services to provide coping mechanisms; emotional support and a voice to help break down barriers and reduce feelings of isolation.

For more information about The Co-operative’s Charity of the Year partnership with Carers Trust visit

Additional Information:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at

Contact Information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Press Office
Tel: 07702 505551