- Centrica, parent company of British Gas, is adding to the support it offers to Carers UK
- Carers UK has seen a 60% rise in calls and emails to the helpline as carers urgently need advice on caring responsibilities and support during crisis
- The donation will help support carers during this time as well as throughout the next two years
- British Gas has also been working with Trussell Trust to deliver 50,000 food bank parcels a month
Centrica is donating £1m to its charity partner, Carers UK, which will help fund an extended hours service for its helpline as well as other activities the charity undertakes to support carers throughout the year. The Coronavirus pandemic has seen a 60% increase in calls and emails to the Carers UK helpline, as well as a 600% increase to advice on the website.
The Coronavirus outbreak is proving an extremely worrying time for unpaid carers, many of whom are taking extra precautions to ensure those they look after - family members or friends who are older, disabled or seriously ill – are adequately protected in the weeks and months ahead. Many are seeing their local care services reduced, are providing even more care than normal, and are going without much-needed breaks from their caring roles.
As unpaid carers try to manage the impact of the disease on their caring responsibilities, they are urgently seeking advice on care and social distancing, resources for remote caring, and support with food and community services. Carers UK anticipates there will be an increased demand for their services for many months to come.
The helpline was open two days a week, but for the next 12 weeks, Centrica is helping Carers UK to keep their helpline and email service running throughout the week, so that they can provide vital support and advice to everyone that needs it. Centrica will also provide support to continue an extended helpline service for the next 12 months.
British Gas is also supporting the Trussell Trust food banks with employees donating food, sorting food parcels and over 3,000 engineers volunteering to deliver 50,000 food parcels a month. The company hopes this activity will help carers, as well as the wider population, as many recipients of the food parcels are caring for someone at home.