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Cash Quest for Carers - it's just champion!

Cash Quest for Carers - it's just champion!


Who could forget this? 
Blackpool's Goalden Girls - an unstoppable force of runners and walkers and now dancers in their 50s (and beyond) - went Gangnam style at Blackpool's Funny Girls with help from the resident talent.
Oh, but it's so last year, darlings!   And what a year! How can we possibly not just follow but surpass that?
That's the challenge.
Cash Quest 4 Carers (CQ4C)  is back and it means business - again. It all starts on Thursday June 11 with a launch event at the  Village  Herons Reach Blackpool from  1pm to 3pm.
The charity needs as many businesses, groups and clubs and teams to rally to the cause as possible.
The Blackpool-based charity Carers Trust Fylde Coast Carers Centre supports more than 3000 unpaid carers of all ages -some as young as three to one lady who's 94 who's been looking after her elderly husband with dementia.
But more are becoming carers younger. Research reveals that one in 12 children are carers. That's at least two in the average classroom - probably three.  It's an invisible social care force.  Few kids want to be seen as different and young carers tend to get bullied - a recent survey found 25 per cent had been bullied because of their caring role. 
It's self imposed social isolation.  Many arrive late and perhaps not as well turned out as the other kids. They may not go on school trips or join after school clubs. One local girl was found only after fainting through lack of food.  Others may fall asleep at their school desks. One lad lashed out after nodding off at his desk having spent the night checking his alcoholic dad didn't choke on his vomit - and then getting his siblings washed,dressed and ready for school.  Fortunately the school's zero policy led to Sergeant Steve Hodgkins learning of the lad's plight and he's now chairman of the charity's trustees. 
The charity helps through mentors, respite, coping mechanisms, emotional and practical support. Little things make all the difference. One 11 year old looking after her mum get through cancer now has an annual family pass for Sandcastle WaterPark.  One young dad looking after a family of five - and caring for his wife - was given a season pass to Preston North End and in the year they won promotion, to boot.
  Some companies already help in kind, offering up work experience or volunteering opportunities. One, Stanton Novelty, sponsors the charity's mascot Rocco the donkey and provided the egg and bacon rock breakfasts for the annual carers' Best Breakfast campaign. The charity used one as a prop to lobby the political conference circuit.
But are more businesses prepared to support this small charity with a big heart?  Look at what's been achieved since the inaugural event. 
CTFCCC http://www.carerstrustfyldecoast.org - formerly known as Blackpool Carerrs Centre - managed to fund a Young Carers Champion last year thanks to the cash raised by these formidable ladies pictured above, and Sandcastle WaterPark's 'Superheroes' and Danbro Accounting for Life's epic tea trolley dash by bosses Damian and Helen Broughton  round more than 150 workers  and so many more events by corporate and community teams.
Don't even get us started on Nigel Wilkinson's sausages. Correction, do. Because we loved them.  Nigel and wife Hilary, who just happens to be a member of the Goalden Girls too, cooked up a bang tidy treat - Carers Bangers.  Just another link in  the Cash Quest 4 Carers chain. Sales boosted the appeal.  A sizzling fundraiser which bagged the Wilkinsons the Most Innovative Award.  
For the record, the Sandcastle's superheroes made the biggest splash, netting well over £6k, and Danbro http://www.danbro.co.uk totted up a highly creditable £1.3k in second place and won a special award for Rivalry to a Tea, even if that morning cuppa round by Team Helbro's Helen (who did the legwork) and Team Danbro's Damian (who chatted with staff) stretched to afternoon tea at the former Whitehills Business Park base. Now they're at Jubilee House, Lytham, spanning some 60,000 plus sq ft of office space under a 77k  roof housing at least 180 staff we can safely say they'd be off their trolley to contemplate another fundraiser on that scale. 
So how can you help? For starters, we give you a £50 initial stake - which we do want back.  One went AWOL last year and while we're not prepared to name and shame the individual it still hurts. The idea is to use the cash as a starter fund. You could buy ingredients for cakes, bake them, sell more, bake more. Simple but effective stuff. 
You could invest the cash in a rehearsal space and put a flash dance (not in the '70s film sense) mob through their paces and then send them out to strut their stuff and make more money.  
Adshead Car and Van Solutions put on a paella party which proved very rice, sorry nice, for the charity, indeed. Some of the charity's own staff organised quiz nights and football challenges.  Health centres offering health screening for a donation.  The current young carers' champion Lauren Codling, 20, a talented musician and singer,  did some busking.
The aim is to turn a £50 starter stake into as much money as is legally and ethically possible. Within three months.  No pressure there, then.
 We've all heard of corporate social responsibility and there's no reason why charity shouldn't begin at home - in these young carers' homes. As Mark Adlestone, the big hearted chairman of Beaverbrooks, another supporter of the charity, will tell you ... it's far better to judge your worth on what you give to charity or how you help others.  "Doing good makes you feel good," he says.  That simple really - and yet how effective.
It also makes you look good. If you're a customer or a client or a supplier do you want to go to a company which just stashes the cash for a rainy day in some tax haven or one which makes a real commitment to the community and the charities within it?
 And this is a chance as the Goalden Girls proved  - and they are not a company but a group of fitness-conscious friends who do more than their bit for charity - to make a real song and dance about it. Gangnam style.
Besides, just look at what the young carers' champion has achieved since she was appointed last year. Lauren Codling has lobbied parliament, local politicians, national health and welfare and social care chiefs and watchdogs. She has conducted press conferences, helped run media workshops, taken the place of chief officer (Michelle Smith) at the charity ball . She has done radio, TV and press interviews.  And she's assisted young carers and young adult carers - and developed  a real head for business via the charity's allied social enteprise. We think she's going to go far. 
And here's why it all adds up. Carers, the unpaid ones, who look after brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, grandparents, even parents, save the state an estimated £119 billion - and that figure has not been updated since 2011. Do YOU reckon it will have fallen since?
We think not. Even the most conservative, small C, estimate places it around £130bn today. 
  National carers' week starts June 8.  Right across this region threre are network partners of Carers Trust doing their bit to help carers get a better deal. Football legend Jimmy Armfield is going for that goal too - the charity's guest of honour at the Carers Week Party in the Park (Blackpool Stanley Park) from 11am to 3pm on Saturday June 13.
Every penny counts.  To learn how you can get involved visit http://www.carerstrustfyldecoast.org or follow @BlackpoolCarers @Cashquest4carer @CarersRocco and @jacquimorley on Twitter or https://www.facebook.com/blackpoolcarers Or call the team on (01253) 393748.


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