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Uphill challenge for local carers

Local carers joined Carers UK chief executive, Heléna Herklots, on her climb up Glastonbury Tor on Friday 31st July. 

The climb was held to raise awareness of the uphill challenges that many people face when caring for a loved one.

With her on the climb was Caroline Toll, a Carers UK ambassador from Nunney near Frome, who organised the walk, and Janice Brown, membership manager of Carers UK who lives in Honiton, Devon. A cousin of Mary Webster’s, founder of the carers’ movement, Marjorie Moxon who lives in Frome saw them off.

50 years ago, the Reverend Mary Webster gave up her work as a Minister to care for her ageing parents. Believing that she was not alone in her experiences, Mary uncovered a colossal hidden issue, as carers from all corners of the country wrote to tell her how they faced practical difficulties, isolation and financial hardship as a result of caring for a loved one.

Sadly this can still be the experience of carers. In a fight for carers’ rights, Mary sparked the Carers’ Movement and founded Carers UK.

Heléna Herklots is in the middle of a personal mission for Carers UK’s 50th anniversary year to raise a target of £25,000 for Carers UK by climbing 50 hills across the UK in 2015 – one hill for every year that the charity has been supporting families who care, unpaid, for sick, older or disabled loved ones.

This one was her 22nd.

There are almost 59,000 people in Somerset who provide unpaid care for an older, disabled, or seriously-ill loved one; and every year, more than 19,000 people in Somerset take on a new caring role for a loved one.

Caroline, who is a Carers UK ambassador said, “The strains on the statutory services are great but carers’ rights have now been put into the latest legislation and it is up to all of us to make sure that the support that carers need is provided.”

Caroline has been sponsored to the tune of over £650 which will go towards supporting the Carers UK Helpline which offers carers support and advice, helping them to feel less isolated.

Heléna Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK said, “Without the right support, caring for a loved one can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle. In setting myself the challenge of climbing 50 hills this year I wanted to reflect this, and also capture the spirit and determination of the committed individuals who started the carers movement 50 years ago.

For more information about Carers UK’s 50th anniversary, visit: