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I-drive Disability News Updates: TimeBanks and Carers UK team up to support carers

National volunteering charity, TimeBank, has joined forces with Carers UK to create the innovative volunteering project Carers Together.

The Carers Together project will provide 70 carers in the Birmingham area with face to face support, as well as tailored advice to 300 other carers across the country.

TimeBank has 12 years experience of matching volunteers in one-to-one relationships to tackle complex social issues and draw on this to train mentors and expert advisers.

The project aims to increase awareness of the care, welfare and health services available and build the confidence of carers, helping them to cope with the emotional challenges of caring.

In a survey for Carers UK, over half of the 4,000 carers consulted said caring had a negative impact on their relationships with their partner, family and friends. Over 70 percent said they had experienced mental health problems, including depression.

The project has been awarded a two-year grant of £256,273 from the Reaching Communities Programme, part of the Big Lottery Fund.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of TimeBank, said: “We know from the wide range of projects we have delivered over the last 12 years that volunteer mentoring is a powerful tool. I’m delighted that with Carers Together, we have the opportunity to apply that learning to support a new and immensely important group of people who are often socially isolated and struggling to cope.”

There are more than six million people in the UK who provide unpaid care for an ill or disabled family member or friend.

In other news, a study by thinktank Demos says cuts to welfare are leaving disabled families in a “struggle for survival”.

I-drive is the new information portal for disabled drivers from Adapted Vehicle Hire. For more on Adapted Vehicle Hire and the services it offers, visit the homepage.