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£2m grant could help Redbridge carers back into the workplace

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 September 2016

Glynis Donovan from Redbridge Carers Support Service.  Photo: Arnaud Stephenson.

Glynis Donovan from Redbridge Carers Support Service. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson.

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More than 27,000 unpaid carers in Redbridge could be helped back into work thanks to a £2million grant.

Redbridge Carers Support Service (RCSS), Clements Lane, Ilford, in conjunction with its umbrella organisation Carers Trust, has been awarded funding from the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund to tackle the root causes of poverty.

The grant will be specifically used to help carers retain their jobs or return to work after caring for a sick or disabled family member or friend.

Glynis Donovan, RCSS executive director, the project lead for eight north-east London boroughs, said it was the first time an employment programme has been tailored to the specific need of carers.

“External research shows current employment support services do not reach carers,” she said.

“This project will improve the lives of Redbridge carers in a number of ways, including supporting them to increase their income and thereby improving their economic wellbeing and independence, giving them confidence, skills and experience that will improve their lives and increasing their sense of self-worth and self-esteem.”

Carers who cannot work will be given training and work experience so they can keep up to date with the labour market.

The service will be personalised to meet the needs of the applicant but can include help with brokering relationships with employers to help negotiate flexible working conditions, one-to-one support, mentoring and workshops.

They will also have access to respite care so they can participate on the course.

Ms Donovan said that having the opportunity to work flexibly is important.

“They can juggle work and their caring roles without adding more pressure on them,” she added.

“Flexible jobs allow them to care for the person when needed and to attend hospital and doctor appointments etc.”

Lydie Saint-Marc, Carers Trust deputy director of fundraising, said: “(The grant) will provide a major boost for unpaid carers whose working lives have been significantly affected by their caring role.”

“Some have struggled to hold onto their jobs, while others haven’t worked for years because they have been caring for someone in their family or a friend.”

Redbridge carers can apply for the scheme on 020 8514 6251 or emailing office@rcss.org.uk.


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