Swindon firm honoured for helping unpaid carers

By Barrie Hudson - 11 August 2022

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  • Mark Flay from Zurich Community Trust, which won the Corporate Award for its outstanding support

    Mark Flay from Zurich Community Trust, which won the Corporate Award for its outstanding support

Volunteers who contribute their time to support unpaid carers were thanked at the annual Carer Support Wiltshire awards ceremony.

The award categories included Outstanding Contribution, the Volunteer Manager award and Volunteer of the Year. 

There was also a Corporate Award, handed to Swindon's Zurich Community Trust, whose employees have given hundreds of hours of their time to support carers, including contacting 660 carers for a wellbeing check during the first lockdown and running a weekly online carer café. 

Carer Support Wiltshire has 105 volunteers in Swindon and the rest of Wiltshire who ensure that a range of services can be offered to people who are caring for someone and need support. 

Volunteers run and support carer cafes, groups and other carer events, regular phone calls to people through a befriending service called Here to Talk and are involved in carers' voice events. 

Carer Support Wiltshire Volunteer Support Officer Amanda Rothwell said: “Our volunteers are all absolute superstars and we welcome the opportunity to do something for them once a year with our volunteer awards. 

“Although we highlight the achievements of a few, we’re really celebrating all of our volunteers, who give freely of their time, experience and expertise to support us and their communities. Without them we simply wouldn’t be able to support as many carers as we do. 

Carers need support from us now more than ever. Many have given up work or reduced their working hours to allow them to care for a friend or family member who has fallen ill, is elderly or has a disability and this adds a financial pressure to an already, often challenging, situation. 

"There are also a lot of carers who are still feeling the effects of the lockdowns, which left them completely stressed and burnt out from caring 24/7 at home with no extra help or respite.”

Carer Support Wiltshire wants to hear from people who are interested in volunteering. Current opportunities include as a Here to Talk befriending volunteer, and the charity is also looking for a treasurer to join its board of trustees. 

Anybody who would like to find out more about volunteering, or is caring for someone and would like to find what support is available, is welcome to call 0800 181 4118 during normal office hours. 

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