Carers’ Support (Bexley) has received £5,000 to fund a specialist benefits advice service for carers.

The service is aimed at those carers who are struggling financially due to the requirements of their caring role, giving them the confidence and experience to become financially stable.

The grant will specifically benefit unpaid carers and the disabled people they care for in the London Borough of Bexley.

The donation was provided by the Santander Foundation, which offers Discovery Grants to UK registered charities for projects that help disadvantaged people in local communities.

Carers’ Support (Bexley) is a charity supporting unpaid carers in the local area, providing those who dedicate their lives to caring for their loved ones with information, emotional support and breaks from their caring responsibilities. 

The grant will help the charity to provide one to one advice on how to complete claim forms as well as offer practical help for carers. Many carers have had to give up work to care for a loved one in need of round the clock support. They can become stressed and feel isolated, and financial worries can add to their stress.

In a recent survey by Carers UK, 30 per cent of carers said they had been forced to use their savings to help them make ends meet and others said they had ended up in debt, with 26 per cent using credit cards and 23 per cent taking out bank overdrafts to help pay for living expenses. Many do not know about the benefits they can claim, and others find the forms too daunting to complete themselves.

Alison Baker, operations manager at Carers’ Support (Bexley), said: “It is vital that we do everything we can to enable carers to continue to care for their loved ones at home, and to ensure that they get all the support that is available to them. This grant will help us to continue to do that in Bexley.”

Sally Hopkins, customer service manager at Santander’s Sidcup branch, said: “The Santander Foundation makes hundreds of donations to local projects every year with the aim of assisting organisations, communities and vulnerable people throughout the UK. 

"The staff at our branch know the great work carers’ Support (Bexley) does in our community and we hope this grant will help them in their support for local people.”