Merton carers get Children in Need cash boost


Young carers in Merton are receiving a boost with a £115,000 donation to a local charity from BBC’s Children in Need.


By Walaa Khubieh

Young carers in Merton are receiving a boost with a £115,000 donation to a local charity from BBC’s Children in Need.

Carers Support Merton will use the money to employ a family support worker over three years to help families with young carers.

Children in Need made the decision to award the grant after reviewing the charity’s proposal on how the money would be utilised to improve services available to child carers.

They are the only Merton charity receiving a donation in Children in Need’s May round of funding.

Carers Support Merton’s Chief Executive Officer Jennie Chapman said: “This donation means so much to the young carers themselves because this means they can get that extra support that they need. 

“That’s what is important to us, not the money itself but what it can do for the young people we support.”

The money will give young carers the opportunity to get much-needed one-to-one support with a worker.

“There is definitely a gap at the moment. Young carers have a very high support need and now we will be able to offer them and their families the help they require,” Ms Chapman said.

Children in Need CEO David Ramsden said: “We wouldn’t be able to help projects like Carers Support Merton without the continued support of our fundraisers and donors who join in our Appeal and make the commitment to BBC Children in Need. 

“This project will make a real difference to the lives of young carers and their families in Merton and we are proud to be able to fund it.”

Carers Support Merton, which supports about 170 young Merton carers, already provides a set of services such as regular clubs, outings and activities.

Ms Chapman said that these give carers the chance to enjoy themselves and get away from their caring situation, as well as meet others in similar circumstances.

The charity is not the first in Merton to receive a donation from Children in Need. Merton and Sutton Crossroads, another charity providing care for the borough’s young carers, received £39,600 in a previous round of funding.

“We have used the money mainly for staffing,” said the charity’s Children Services Manager Karen Caiger.

She added: “It has certainly made a difference – we have now got three clubs for different age groups, after school clubs and two Saturday clubs.”

According to the 2001 census there were 597 young carers in Merton but there is no recent accurate figure.

However, estimates put the number of unidentified young carers as up to five times those identified which means there could be a thousand young carers in Merton alone.


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