We have always endeavoured to provide a lifeline to our carers who are in desperate need through our emergency fund; this currently stands at only £1200. The fund supports carers in many ways but can provide a sum of money to buy essential food and household items, helping carers  to stay well, whilst carrying out their caring role.

During these unprecedented times of a worldwide pandemic and with many carers combining home schooling alongside their demanding caring role and the pressures of more mouths to feed in the household, we know families will be put in a sometimes impossible position.

What do we need? Our aim is to ensure that the hardest hit can be helped by providing £25 for a weekly family shop. Our target  is to reach £5000 so that we can help 200 families manage better through these very difficult times.

Can you help by donating just £10 - it will mean the world of difference to the wellbeing of unpaid carers and their families throughout the most deprived areas of our community in Gateshead.

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Here are some stories of how our Carers Emergency Fund has helped the unpaid carers of Gateshead. 

As a Carer for my husband, I found myself in the most challenging of circumstances. These were very difficult days for me - particularly as I didn’t know who I could turn to, for practical and emotional support. I eventually contacted Gateshead Carers Association, who fully understood my position and they didn’t hesitate to respond to some of my most pressing needs. As a working Carer, I was also offered a very flexible approach, which again supported me, when I was under pressure on many other fronts. Indeed, just knowing that a worker is always there for me, is so reassuring and comforting. I know I can contact Gateshead Carers Association at any point for continued support and I would encourage any Carer facing urgent and challenging times to make contact with the team. 
- Val Brown, Carer for her husband

I recently contacted Gateshead Carers Association when I found myself in a worrying situation - thankfully, my family were keeping safe and well during lock down, but finances suddenly became a huge worry to me. My son  had stopped attending day care because of the virus, likewise my daughter couldn’t work - whilst I knew this would keep my family safe, I also knew my money wasn’t lasting as long,  despite every attempt to budget. I started to feel anxious,  particularly as I didn’t know who I could to turn for advice and support - it was here that I decided to contact Gateshead Carers Association.  I was so glad I did, as I was able to speak to someone who could help me  with discretion, little fuss and  quickly. There were no onerous forms to complete, and later that afternoon I received a payment straight into my bank account from their Carers COVID 19 EMERGENCY FUND. This really helped me out in a tight spot, as I was very  worried about how I was going to cope - so I would urge any Carer facing a difficult time to make contact with the team to discuss  the Emergency Fund alongside any additional support you may need. 
- Carer who accessed our Emergency Fund.

When we gained our status and leave to remain in the UK, we were so happy and looked forward to settling into the community here in Gateshead with our family. But we had an immediate problem in that we had to move out of our accommodation straight away and into temporary housing, this meant a period of three weeks without any access or recourse to public funds. Being carers for our son, we were told about Gateshead Carers and are so grateful to them and the British Red Cross for giving us immediate emergency funds to see us through those difficult weeks. We were able to enjoy the period over Christmas as a family and our children are now settled and enjoying school and learning. Our son was given access to music therapy and now wants to play an instrument and he can already play Happy Birthday! (with a little bit of help). The support given to us by Gateshead Carers helped us when we found ourselves in very difficult circumstances. Please contact them if you need help, they are always there for you.
- Carer who accessed our Emergency Fund.