“This funding will help us work to reduce the loneliness and sense of isolation they can face, help us to involve them in different social activities, and in providing much-needed emotional and practical support.”
A charity supporting carers has received a grant of £35,000 from Cambridgeshire Freemasons.
Caring Together supports carers of all ages across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Norfolk and can provide support for carers who are preparing for, and during, bereavement.
Being able to offer both one-to-one and group support for carers through their bereavement means that they can be given practical and emotional support, information, advice, and guidance.
This local grant is one of many from Freemasons across the country who are leading a project to help up to 33,000 adult, young and parent carers, with donations totaling more than £715,000.
Andy McGowan, Caring Together head of carer services, said: “We are very grateful for this generous support from Cambridgeshire Freemasons through the Covid-19 Community Fund.
“Looking after a family member or friend can be very demanding and the coronavirus pandemic has made it even more challenging. For people who are facing losing the person, they care for or have suffered this type of bereavement, it is an incredibly difficult time.
“This funding will help us work to reduce the loneliness and sense of isolation they can face, help us to involve them in different social activities, and in providing much-needed emotional and practical support.
“The benefits of being together after caring – having the on-going support of other carers, including those who have themselves been bereaved, staff, and volunteers – can make a big difference at a time when this support is needed so much.
“Being able to continue our support for carers after their caring role is hugely important and this funding from Cambridgeshire Freemasons will help us to do this.”
Richard Cross, a carer who experienced bereavement and a range of challenges when his wife Sheila passed away, said: “I personally want to express my deepest gratitude to Cambridgeshire Freemasons. I know first-hand how hard and difficult it is when a carer loses the person they love so much and have cared for. So much of what I experienced was cold and impersonal.
“But because of the help I have received from Caring Together, I was able to get on to a positive footing much sooner that would otherwise have been the case. And I know that this funding will mean that they can help other carers be better prepared for bereavement and then be better supported through all they go through.”
Devonshire Court Care Home run by the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution IMAGE: Lloyd Sturdy
According to Carers UK, the number of carers grew exponentially during the pandemic, reaching more than 13 million. The helping hand from the Freemasons is supporting them with essential items, life skills, counselling, crisis support, activities and breaks.
Approximately 20,000 unpaid carers are receiving access to crucial support online, funded by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body of the Freemasons.
David Cameron, a Cambridgeshire Freemason who coordinates donations, said: “We are delighted to be able to continue our support for our local communities with this latest grant to Caring Together.”