Special present to army of ‘hidden’ carers across Leeds

April Lee (left) and Val Hewison (right) of Carers Leeds, with Heather White, from Markel.
April Lee (left) and Val Hewison (right) of Carers Leeds, with Heather White, from Markel.
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The ‘unsung’ army of hidden carers in Leeds will receive an extra special present this Christmas.

Hundreds of gifts are being handed out to some of the city’s most socially isolated carers as a touching thank you for their efforts.

Staff at Carers Leeds, who help to provide support and advice to carers across the city, handed out the gifts.

There are more than 71,600 carers in the city and over 16,000 of those provide 50 hours or more of care for their families and friends every week.

The Yorkshire Evening Post recently revealed that just 5,280 carers in the city receive Carers Allowance. In Leeds, more than 7,500 unpaid carers are supported by Carers Leeds – but it is estimated that the number across the city could total around 70,000.

The gifts were donated by Markel Insurance which has supported the charity since 2008.

Val Hewison, chief executive of Carers Leeds, said: “Every one of our staff know carers they wanted a gift for – many of whom are more isolated, many younger adult carers , many very elderly and frail but all who are doing the very best caring for their loved ones.

“These are the ‘hidden’ carers. They can’t get out to attend the events we hold - they can’t even leave the person they care for for a few hours.

“So there is no better way for us to say a big thank you to them for the tireless work they do than giving them a gift for themselves.

“I do believe every family carer wants to do the very best for the person they are caring for.

“It gives us immense pleasure to hand over a gift to them to say thank you – and we care.”

Simon Fell, MD of Markel Insurance, added: “Carers Trust has been our chosen charity since 2008. It is a cause that resonates with many of our staff and customers.”