Young carers can trust in The Co-operative as it reveals new Charity of the Year

31 October 2012

The nation’s army of unpaid young adult carers received a welcome boost today (31 October) as The Co-operative

The charity was formed in April this year when The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care came together.

It is now set to benefit from The Co-operative’s 100,000 staff putting fun into fundraising to raise the money needed to reduce the feeling of isolation and provide desperately needed breaks, information, advice and support for young adults living with the challenges of caring.

In 2011 The Co-operative’s staff, members and customers raised a record £7.2 million for Mencap and its sister charity ENABLE Scotland, leaving a legacy for a generation of young people with a learning disability.

Next year (2013), The Co-operative’s partnership with Carers Trust will work to transform the lives of the UK’s young adult carers – people in communities who are more than twice as likely not to be in education, employment or training1 and, many of which, have not taken a break of two days or more since they started caring2

There are an estimated 6 million carers in the UK – a figure forecast to rise to 9 million over the next 25 years – of which, approaching 500,000 are aged 14-25 and are caring for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.

Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative, said: “Caring is often a hidden issue and our partnership with Carers Trust aims to change that.

“Forming an integral part of our commitment to inspiring young people, the focus of our charity of the year relationship will be on 14-25 year olds in our communities who have taken on practical and emotional caring responsibilities for a family member or friend who cannot cope without their support.

“I am delighted to announce that we are now able to offer them our support and, I am confident that with the help of our staff, customers and members we will be able to make a massive difference to thousands of young lives across the UK.”

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted, we believed that something extraordinary needed to happen to achieve a UK-wide profile for our cause and, this is it.

“Whether on the bus or train, in a supermarket or walking down the high street, you are passing people who are carers.

“Our partnership with The Co-operative will focus on the lives of young adult carers and the money raised will transform many of these young people's lives, not just for today, or tomorrow, but for ever - importantly, it will also take the hidden issue of unpaid carers to centre stage. We are looking forward to a wonderful, transformative year.”

For more information visit

REGION Carers (of all ages)
Scotland 479,934
N. Ireland 184,361
Wales 339,827
London and the South East 1,339,370
North West and IOM 722,095
West Midlands 556,685
East Midlands 433,923
North East 275.832
South West 492,442
Yorkshire & Humberside 516,546
East Of England 517,893


Additional Information: 

  •  Young adult carers aged between 16 and 18 years are twice as likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET) ‘Against the Odds’, Audit Commission, p19, July 2010.
  • 42 per cent of carers have not taken a break of more than two days since they started looking after the main person they care for. Statisitc from the Survey of Carers in Households in England (produced by the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care), 2011.

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

Carers Trust is the UK’s largest charity for carers. With local Network Partners we work to improve support, services and recognition for carers in communities across the UK. We offer practical help, both in and outside the home, desperately needed breaks, information and advice. Together with Network Partners we work as one organisation united by a shared vision for carers.

Our vision is of a world where the role and contribution of unpaid carers is recognised and they have access to the quality support and services they need to live their own lives. To find your nearest Carers Trust Network Partner call 0844 800 4361 or visit our website

Scotland: The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland (part of Carers Trust) is the largest provider of comprehensive carers support services in Scotland, reaching more than 52,000 adult carers and more than 4,300 young carers from all groups and communities through a unique network of 27 carers’ centres and 23 young carers’ services throughout Scotland. To find your nearest carers’ centre, call 0141 221 5066.  The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland also helps thousands more through interactive websites and

Contact Information:

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