Charity of the Year 2018

Published: 22/05/2019

We are delighted to announce our nominated Charity of the Year for 2018.

We are delighted to announce that our nominated Charity of the Year for 2018 is Carers in Bedfordshire.

Carers in Bedfordshire is a not-for-profit registered charity providing support for carers of family members and friends throughout Bedfordshire.

We meet a lot of informal carers through our work in the community and we see the impact of caring for a loved one and how it can be challenging. We recognise the need for informal carers to have time to look after themselves and recharge their batteries from what is essentially a 24/7 unpaid job.

We have chosen to support Carers in Bedfordshire this year to help raise funds to enable informal carers to benefit from the vital services they provide.

“Carers in Bedfordshire's beginnings were as The Eve Project back in 2004, set up by former carer Yvonne Clark. Yvonne realised the lack of support for unpaid carers of family members and loved ones. The Eve Project was run with no funding and simply from Yvonne's conservatory.

In April 2005, The Eve Project secured funding from the Harpur Trust and after another year, the name was changed to Carers in Bedfordshire. In doing so, the support for unpaid carers became countywide. Carers in Bedfordshire continued to grow and support more carers across the county and in April 2009 received funding to open a new carers centre in Biggleswade. The first ever Carers Cafe also took place in this month.

In September 2009, the NHS funded Carers in Bedfordshire to run the Carers Grants scheme to provide unpaid carers with a grant to have a break from their caring role.

The ever growing need for carer specific support was becoming more evident and more important so in September 2011 Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and NHS Bedfordshire put carers services out to tender. The aim of this was to bring all carers services in the county together so carers have one number to call when they are in need of support or help. Carers in Bedfordshire won the contract to provide exclusive carers services across the county.

Today, Carers in Bedfordshire supports over 7,500 unpaid carers. This is a huge growth from Yvonne's inspirational idea in 2004, but there is still so much more we aim to do for unpaid carers. 

Yvonne Clark retired in November 2013 and the new Chief Executive Officer Helen Satterthwaite took over with the vision of continuing Carers in Bedfordshire's rapid growth, ensuring we reach all unpaid carers in Bedfordshire and looking to improve our services to repay carers for the amazing work they do for the UK economy and society.”

For more information please go to:

Bluebird Care (Bedford) will be supporting Carers in Bedfordshire throughout 2018 with fundraising events including our group challenge to cover 500 miles in a week (date tbc) and Gemma Gough, one of our Care Assistants, is taking part in a sponsored skydive that Carers in Bedfordshire are organising. To find out more about Gemma’s fundraising click here. For further details of our fundraising events and other events throughout 2018 please see our Events Calendar.