Our beneficiaries say that caring for their loved ones is extremely rewarding. But it also brings many challenges. The loneliness that carers experience is caused by a variety of different challenges. And these are, more often than not, out of their control. They may be too busy that they have no time or energy left to see friends and other family. Or they may drift away from old friends as their lives become so different. Often, the emotional demands of caring mean their focus is all on the wellbeing of their loved one, not themselves. After Umbrage combats loneliness for carers by inviting them to stay at Kingham Cottage for a well deserved break. It’s a little much needed self-care.
What is loneliness?
Loneliness is defined by researchers as feeling lonely more than once a week. Loneliness causes people to feel empty, alone, and unwanted. People who are lonely often crave human contact, but their state of mind makes it more difficult to form connections with other people.
What does research tell us?
8 in 10 unpaid carers feel ‘lonely and socially isolated’ research by Carers UK shows.
Furthermore, 77% of carers said their mental health had worsened and 67% had noticed a decline in their physical health.
Carers give huge amounts of time and energy to support loved ones who would otherwise struggle and the feeling of being ‘on your own’ makes life much harder for them.
What action do we take?
Over 220 unpaid carers and their families have stayed at Kingham Cottage for a free break since 2015. They tell us that there is a magic at the cottage because so many carers – like themselves – have enjoyed a holiday there. They appreciate that a small charity is caring for them as carers, significant when they devote immense time and energy caring for their loved ones. In turn, carers collectively save the UK economy the equivalent of a second NHS: £132 billion every year.
What is the impact of a break?
We believe that every unpaid carer deserves a free break. The benefits to their mental and physical health are manyfold. Furthermore, our beneficiaries rate their wellbeing at a 100% higher level after their visit compared to before.
We provide a short-term intervention that is long lasting as happy memories are created and they linger for many years.
What our beneficaries say about their break
Our carers who have had a break at Kingham Cottage say…
- I feel less lonely knowing so many carers have stayed at Kingham Cottage.
- Wonderful that someone is caring for us.
- We enjoyed the family time and a break away from hospital and doctors appointments.
- Thank you so much for everything you do for carers like me.
- As a carer, I cannot express how much these relaxing few days have meant to me and helped me recharge and carry on.
- This gorgeous cottage is such a treat. Everything you do for us carers is amazing as we normally get forgotten about.
The work we do needs funding, naturally. And we wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) @DCMS and The National Lottery Community Fund (@TNLComFund). Both these wonderful organisations have supported our work to help combat loneliness. These organisations helped fund our coffee breaks for carers.
They support many causes helping to reduce loneliness. What will make a difference is joining the conversation across the social media platforms that are linked via the #LetsTalkLoneliness hashtag.
After Umbrage combats loneliness
This is one of the many social impacts we make. We hope this explanation has helped you understand the importance and relevance of our charity and how we make a difference.