Congratulations to Carers First who has won the award for Best Charity/Not-for-profit Campaign at the 2023 UK Digital Excellence Awards.

The award-winning Lighten the Load campaign, that ran throughout October 2022, highlighted the plight of thousands of unpaid carers in Lincolnshire, Waltham Forest, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Haringey, Newham, Hackney and Medway affected by the cost-of-living crisis.

Survey results released at the beginning of the campaign, found that 9 in 10 carers are worried about the rising cost of living, with 93% losing sleep because they are worrying about how to afford the basic essentials.

The campaign aimed to raise awareness of the financial support available to carers and increase the number of those accessing it. New resources were developed as part of the campaign, including a financial support email series, to help carers access the support they need.

Celebrity influencers were involved in spreading awareness of the campaign, including broadcaster Kate Garraway, who spoke openly about her experience being a carer for her husband Derek, which attracted thousands of views.

Channel 4 daytime chat show Steph’s Packed Lunch also picked up the story, resulting in a significant increase in carer registrations and traffic to the Carers First website.

The Lighten the Load campaign reached over 175,000 people and helped carers like Jason access financial support. 

Jason, a carer from Essex found out about a grant available from the Household Support Fund through Carers First. He said:

“The money really helped me at a time when I was really struggling, as I needed food.”

With this help, Jason was able to purchase frozen foods that were otherwise unavailable to him at food banks and had help with money towards his gas and electric bills when moving home.

Alison Taylor, Chief Executive at Carers First said:

“At Carers First we are seeing more carers struggling financially. It is critically important that we are able to help families who are looking after someone with a long term illness or disability to receive the support they are entitled to. The Lighten the Load campaign was developed with carers, to help to carers secure the financial support available to them. We know there are many more carers who still need support and we will continue to work with partner organisations to raise the profile of carers and connect them to the financial help available.”

You can find out more about the campaign and the financial support available to carers on our campaign page or through our help and advice topics