Motor dealer backs socially-distanced sponsored walk in aid of carers
A charity that supports around 21,000 carers in Swindon has raised more than £2,000 from a sponsored walk, after receiving the backing of Pebley Beach.
Every year supporters of the charity Swindon Carers put their best feet forward during Carers Week (June 8 to 13) for Walk A Mile, a fundraising walk around the town – and every year Pebley Beach pledges to match their fundraising efforts pound for pound up to £1,000.
Due to lockdown restrictions the charity was unable to hold a mass gathering this year, but instead asked supporters to walk a mile wherever they could.
Supporters took up the challenge walking indoors, in back gardens, school playgrounds, and parks with family members or as part of their social bubble.
Additional daily activities ran throughout the week, including musical performances, fancy dress, and tea parties – all held in a socially-distanced way and shared with their community via social media.
In total, they raised £1,040 which combined with match funding from Pebley Beach brings their fundraising total to £2,040.
Fiona Prinzi, deputy CEO of Swindon Carers, said: "The current coronavirus pandemic continues to present a huge challenge for unpaid carers of all ages in Swindon.
"Many are feeling the impact of taking on a full-time caring role for family members and friends during this time.
"Our staff are busy responding to an increased need for practical and emotional support as a result.
"That's why we're incredibly grateful to Pebley Beach for continuing to generously match-fund donations for Carers Week and Walk A Mile. We know this will make a real difference directly to carers lives at a vital time."
Pebley Beach managing director Dominic Threlfall said: "We're delighted to be able to support Swindon Carers again this year. Well done to everyone who helped raise so much money in extremely challenging circumstances."
During the coronavirus pandemic the number of unpaid carers has rocketed from 200,000 to nearly 700,000 nationally.
Locally, enquiries to Swindon Carers increased by 170 percent during the crisis. The charity has been busy helping carers to meet the challenges presented by the pandemic, including:
- Phoning carers and keeping morale up
- Running virtual activities like arts and crafts, carers singing for everyone, and counselling sessions.
- Running two new fortnightly newsletters – one for young carers and one for adult carers – where they send in recipes, photos and ideas
- Running a Swindon Schools Got Talent competition for all children in Swindon Schools
- Continuing its schools’ work and registering 16 young carers for AQA Unit Award Scheme units
- Visiting carers and delivering milestone birthday cakes, donated by Morrisons and Waitrose
- Helping carers navigate the benefits and welfare system