The Co-operative reveals £6 million boost for hidden army of young adult carers

28 April 2014

Young adult carers will receive a £6 million boost as The Co-operative Group

Raised by The Co-operative’s staff, members and customers, the money allows Carers Trust , the UK’s largest charity for carers, to provide desperately needed breaks, information, advice, support and services for the nation’s hidden army of young adult carers.

An estimated 500,000 14-25 year-olds in the UK care for a family member or friend who are ill, frail, disabled or have mental health or addiction problems and cannot cope without their support.

The Co-operative’s fundraising enables Carers Trust to announce the first tranche of donations from its “About Time” grants programme, with twenty-one Carers’ Centres and schemes*  UK-wide benefitting from donations of up to £43,000. At least 50 grants will be made during the next two years.

In addition, a website for young adult carers entitled “Matter” launches to address issues of social isolation and provide access to advice, support and information - the grant programme and website were designed with a steering group of young adult carers, a youth-led programme created to support the needs, aspirations and requirements of young adult carers UK-wide.

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said: “I have been overwhelmed by the success of our partnership with The Co-operative Group and, with the support and enthusiasm of its staff, members and customers. We dared to dream of a transformative year for Carers Trust and for the young people in communities who, at a crucial time in their lives, desperately need our help, support and services – it is with thanks to The Co-operative that our dream is becoming reality.

“Employees of The Co-operative across all of its businesses including Food, Pharmacy, Funeralcare, Banking Group, Online Electrical and Legal Services have carried out all kinds of amazing fundraising activities alongside a host of community-based store events. They have raised awareness of this often hidden issue and highlighted the challenges facing young adult carers in society, a group that has until recently fallen between two services, being: adult carers and young carers.”

Nick Folland, External Affairs Director, The Co-operative Group, said: “Young adult carers are often described as the glue holding families together, they take on incredible levels of practical and emotional caring responsibilities, often at the expense of their own education and aspirations. The Co-operative trades at the heart of the community and I am extremely proud that the enthusiasm of The Co-operative’s staff, members and customers is not only helping to raise awareness of this hidden issue but is also making a real difference to thousands of young lives.”

For more information about the support and services available for unpaid carers visit
Matter is a new national website and online community for young adult carers aged 16-25 to connect with each other, have conversations, share experiences and access trusted support, for more information visit

Additional Information:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned by nearly eight million members.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer operating across the country with almost 2,800 local, convenience and medium-sized stores.  Amongst its other wholly-owned businesses are the UK’s number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain, a growing legal services operation and a major general insurer. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group, which operates 4,500 outlets and employs approaching 90,000 people, is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes

  • The Charity of the Year partnership between The Co-operative Group and Carers Trust was launched in January 2013 with the help of singer, songwriter and actress Jade Ewen – well known for being a member of girl-band, Sugababes – who is herself a young adult carer.

  • Matter, a new national website and online community for young adult carers aged 16-25 to connect with each other, have conversations, share experiences and access trusted support,
  • Carers Trust formed in 2012 when The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care came together

*21 Carers’ Centres have been awarded grants of between £34,000 - £43,000 by Carers Trust from the “About Time” grants programme, funded by The Co-operative’s Charity of the Year campaign and developed by Carers Trust with help from a steering group of young adult carers -– at least 50 grants will be made during the next two years

First Tranche of Grants awarded by Carers Trust to Carers’ Centres:

  • Carers Trust Cambridgeshire - Awarded £42,203
  • Action for Family Carers (AfFC), Essex - Awarded £41,975
  • Barnet Carers Centre - Awarded £42,895.00
  • Redbridge Carers Support Service -Awarded £42,386
  • Kingston Carers' Network - Awarded £43,000
  • Sunderland Carers' Centre - Awarded £41,144
  • Blackpool Carers’ Centre - Awarded £42,786
  • Crossroads Care Gateshead - Awarded £42,986
  • Salford Young Carers Service - Awarded £34,188
  • Crossroads Care Cheshire Manchester and Merseyside – based in Congleton, Cheshire - Awarded £42,270
  • Manchester Carers Centre - Awarded £42,930
  • Carers in Wiltshire - Awarded £42,998
  • The Carers Centre Bath and North East Somerset - Awarded £42,710
  • Crossroads Care North Somerset - Awarded £42,695
  • The Carers Centre for Brighton and Hove - Awarded £43,000
  • York Carers Centre - Awarded £42,960
  • Carers Resource Harrogate and Craven - Awarded £41,979
  • Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Service (PKAVS) Ltd - Awarded £41,712
  • Helensburgh & Lomond Young Carers - Awarded £43,000
  • Renfrewshire Carers - Awarded £43,000
  • NEWCIS Flintshire - Awarded £43,00

Contact Information:

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