The Co-operative hits the right note with young carers as it launches new Charity of the Year

January 25, 2013

The Co-operative hit the right note with unpaid young adult carers today (24 January) as it launched a “record” breaking year of fundraising for its new Charity of the Year, Carers Trust.

Helping to get fundraising activities ‘rock ‘n’ rolling’, The Co-operative were joined for the launch by singer, songwriter and actress, Jade Ewen, a young adult carer herself who gave up her birthday to attend the launch and support other young carers.

The charity - which formed last year when The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care came together - will benefit from The Co-operative’s 100,000 staff aiming to raise £5 million to tackle feelings of isolation and provide desperately needed breaks, information, advice and support for 14-25 year-olds facing the challenge of caring.

Sugababe Jade Ewen, a young adult carer herself, gave up part of her birthday to attend the launch of The Co-operative’s Charity of the Year partnership with Carers Trust.

To mark the launch, staff at The Co-operative tuned into a “Rock Around the Clock” theme – an acknowledgement of the 24/7 nature of the challenges facing the estimated 500,000 young adult carers (14-25 year-olds) in the UK who care for a family member or friend who are ill, frail, disabled or have mental health or addiction problems.

The day’s activities also include a charity music concert in the auditorium at the new head office of The Co-operative Group, 1 Angel Square, Manchester, with the Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative, Peter Marks CBE, on drums. The “Rock Around the Co-op” concert striking a chord with colleagues from across its businesses who joined the line-up.

Peter Marks CBE, Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative, said: “I am delighted to officially launch The Co-operative’s partnership with Carers Trust and its work to support those young people in our communities who undertake unpaid practical and emotional caring responsibilities for a family member or friend who cannot cope without their support.

“Although it will affect most families at some time, the challenges of unpaid caring is an often hidden issue and, our work with Carers Trust - which forms an integral part of our commitment to inspiring young people - sets out to change that. I am confident that with the support of our staff, members and customers we can make life changing differences to thousands of young people across the UK.”

Jade Ewen, said: “As someone who has been, and still is, a young adult carer, I’m really pleased to be able to support others through Carers Trust.

“I know how hard it can be for young people with caring responsibilities so it’s great that The Co-operative has chosen Carers Trust to be their charity of the year - I hope that many, many, young lives will be improved hugely as a result.”

Thea Stein, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, said: “We are incredibly excited at the prospects of the year ahead, working alongside The Co-operative to provide much needed help for this frequently overlooked and neglected group of dedicated and hard-working young people who are all around us in our communities and who desperately need our support.

“Our partnership with The Co-operative will focus on young adult carers, with the money raised completely transforming many of these young people's lives - not just for today, or tomorrow, but for ever! Importantly, as well as raising the money to provide this vital support, we will also be able to bring the hidden issue of unpaid carers to centre stage where it should be, so that no-one is isolated and under pressure, caring for a loved one with no support. We are looking forward to a wonderful, transformative year.”

There are an estimated 7 million unpaid carers across the UK and this year, The Co-operative aims to raise much needed money for its new Charity of the Year, Carers Trust, to transform the lives of the UK’s unpaid young adult carers – people in communities who are more than twice as likely not to be in education, employment or training1, many of whom have not taken a break of two days or more since they started caring2

For more information visit

Table: Caring Data, all ages.

BY REGION Carers Numbers (all ages)
Scotland 657,300
Northern Ireland 213,980
Yorkshire & Humberside 551,341
North East 286,351
North West 781,972
Wales 370,230
East Midlands 490,249
West Midlands 614,888
East of England 597,591
South East 847,353
London 689,973
South West 570,298
Tyne and Wear 119,509
Cumbria 56,495
Greater Manchester (Met County) 280,299
Lancashire 133,213
Merseyside (Met County) 165,905
North Yorks 64,779
South Yorks (Met County) 148,905
West Yorks (Met County) 224,279
Derbyshire 92,761
Leicestershire 70,728
Lincolnshire 79,262
Northamptonshire 69,498
Nottinghamshire 90,698
Staffordshire 98,832
Warwickshire 59,240
Worcestershire 63,685
Cambridgeshire 60,176
Essex 146,211
Hertfordshire 108,615
Norfolk 94,691
Suffolk 77,745
Buckinghamshire 49,514
East Sussex 59,409
Hampshire 132,938
Kent 151,777
Oxfordshire 61,131
Surrey 108,433
West Sussex 84,395
Devon 84,884
Dorset 49,322
Gloucestershire 62,644
Somerset 58,382

Additional Information:

1 – Young adult carers aged between 16 and 18 years are twice as likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET) ‘Against the Odds’, Audit Commission, p19, July 2010.

2 – 42 per cent of carers have not taken a break of more than two days since they started looking after the main person they care for. Statistic from the Survey of Carers in Households in England (produced by the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care), 2011.

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at

Carers Trust is the UK’s largest charity for carers. With local Network Partners we work to improve support, services and recognition for carers in communities across the UK. We offer practical help, both in and outside the home, desperately needed breaks, information and advice. Together with Network Partners we work as one organisation united by a shared vision for carers.

Our vision is of a world where the role and contribution of unpaid carers is recognised and they have access to the quality support and services they need to live their own lives. To find your nearest Carers Trust Network Partner call 0844 800 4361 or visit our website

Please note - Scotland: The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland (part of Carers Trust) is the largest provider of comprehensive carers support services in Scotland, reaching more than 52,000 adult carers and more than 4,300 young carers from all groups and communities through a unique network of 27 carers’ centres and 23 young carers’ services throughout Scotland. To find your nearest carers’ centre, call 0141 221 5066.  The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland also helps thousands more through interactive websites and

Contact Information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 07702 505551