April-May 2022 | Articles

A caring partnership

A caring partnership

An ageing population with improved life expectancy, means that the demand for unpaid carers is growing rapidly. Dr Cheryle Berry, co-team leader for Rotary GB&I Humanitarian Service explains what Rotary can do.

We were delighted when our partnership with Carers UK was extended for a further two years during the summer, meaning that Rotary GB&I members are continuing to reach out and connect carers in local communities throughout the UK in partnership with Carers UK, Family Carers Ireland and other local carers organisations. We reflect below on what has been achieved through the partnership so far.

Listen to this article

About caring

There are an estimated 6.5 million carers in the UK supporting friends, family members or neighbours who are older, disabled or seriously ill. That is 1 in 8 adults.

Caring is such an important part of life. It’s simply part of being human.

Carers are holding families together, making an enormous contribution to society and saving the economy billions of pounds.

Yet many are stretched to the limit – juggling care with work and family life, struggling to make ends meet and often battling with poor health themselves.

With 65% of people likely to care in their lifetime, this is something that will affect almost all of us. Now more than ever it is vital to raise awareness of caring and the work of Carers UK.


How Carers UK helps carers

As the UK’s only national membership charity for unpaid carers, Carers UK is both a supportive community and a movement for change. Carers UK makes life better for carers by:

  • providing expert information, guidance and support through our website, Helpline, and publications
  • connecting people through our online meetups (Care for a Cuppa and Share & Learn), online forum and community volunteers, making sure no one has to care alone
  • supporting employers so carers are better able to balance work and caring
  • campaigning for lasting societal change in areas that make a difference for carers
  • innovating to find new ways to reach and support carers


Aims of our partnership

Our partnership is enabling us to reach many more carers through Rotary GB&I’s active membership and networks, increasing individuals’ understanding of what support is available to them from Carers UK and local organisations, and connecting carers with each other.

Together, Rotary GB&I and Carers UK have created a nationwide network of over 150 volunteer Rotary Carers UK Ambassadors, all of whom are Rotary members across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and we are always looking for more Rotary members to volunteer to help us increase our reach.

There are an estimated 6.5 million carers in the UK supporting friends, family members or neighbours who are older, disabled or seriously ill.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK said “By working with Rotary’s active membership and network of 1,700 clubs across the country, we’re able to reach many more unpaid carers at this crucial time. We’re so grateful to Rotary GB&I for helping us support more unpaid carers than we ever could alone.”

Amanda Watkin, General Secretary of Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland said, “At Rotary we are focused on two principles: making a difference and making connections. Our ongoing partnership with Carers UK will allow us to reach more people in our communities and support unpaid carers who are doing incredible things in hugely tough circumstances.”


Why are Rotarians involved in the partnership?

Cheryle Berry, National Lead for England, said, “I am proud to be a Rotarian and a carer for my husband. The support and friendship of my fellow Rotarians has helped me so much and the advice from Carers UK has been invaluable. Therefore, it was truly wonderful to hear that Rotary Great Britain and Ireland and Carers UK were forming a partnership. It had the potential for us to work together and help many carers while increasing our Rotary membership network.

“This partnership has opened up a whole new world of friendship and support to many carers in these difficult times of the pandemic.”


Achievements of the partnership

  • Recruiting 150 Club Ambassadors and District Leads.
  • Creating resources and training materials to support the future establishment of ‘Memory Cafes’, ‘Friendship Groups’ and ‘Telephone Befriending Networks’.
  • Raising the profile of caring locally, with Rotarians getting involved in many articles in the local press and features on local radio to raise awareness of unpaid caring and the work of Carers UK.


Interested in raising awareness of caring in your community? Find out more about how to get involved In the partnership by emailing Cheryle Berry. 

Our magazine covers a wide range of fascinating features, exclusive interviews and inspiring human interest stories from across the world of Rotary.

Listen in audio format Download full digital edition

Rotary Magazine