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BIG £262k tv Lottery surprise for Gateshead unsung heroes

8 August 2011

A lifeline support group for carers across Gateshead were given the surprise of their lives when former Corrie star and popular TV actress Gaynor Faye turned up on their doorstep waving a Lottery good cause cheque for a whopping £262,187.

Celebrating the award with tears of joy Gateshead Carers Association received the funding under the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme  which aims to support those most in need and help build stronger communities across the country.

Audiences across the nation tuned in and shared the exciting moment which was broadcast on last week’s BBC 1 National Lottery: In it to Win it at 19.40 on Saturday, 6 August 2011.

 “It was such a special moment when the cheque was presented to us by Gaynor Faye”

said Steve Cowen, Chief Officer of Gateshead Carers. “Staff and carers present had no idea it was going to happen and the reaction said it all. There was everything from cheers, complete shock and amazement to tears of joy. I don’t think any of us will ever forget it.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have received this award from the Big Lottery Fund. We are here to support anyone who provides unpaid for support to a loved one, friend, family member or neighbour who, because of illness or disability would not be able to manage on their own. One in seven of the population is a carer. With this funding we will reach more carers and give them the support they need to continue in their caring role.”

James Turner, Big Lottery Fund Head of Region for the North East said, “We are absolutely delighted to be able to support Gateshead Carers. It was brilliant for them to find out the good news with some extra excitement and celebrity, and it’s fantastic that a relatively small project in Gateshead can showcase their work on national television.

“The staff work hard to reach out to people who might need their help, and to ever increasing numbers of carers. Hopefully this boost will help them to continue and build upon their valuable work providing vital support to the many unsung local heroes who devote their lives to caring for others.”

Gateshead Carers will use the funding for a project to improve the quality of life for young carers, working carers and hidden carers from hard to reach groups across Gateshead, offering choices and control for carers to give them more independence, and enhance their health and wellbeing.

The project will arrange respite breaks for newly identified carers to enjoy group activities including digital photography and art, and will work with other schemes that offer breaks for carers, such as the Princess Royal Trust.  It will also promote awareness amongst employers of the needs of carers and the difficulties that working carers can face coping with a job as well as a caring role.

Watch a video of the presentation on BBC iplayer

One Comment leave one →
  1. 16 August 2011 1:22 pm

    Well done to Gateshead carers association

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