Support for unpaid carers in the workplace

Businesses prioritising employee emotional wellbeing are a special breed and BGL Group is a great example. BGL Group is home to a number of iconic brands and businesses and they started 2021 with a ‘Focus on You’ Campaign. We feel privileged to be part of the programme which includes support for their employees who have caring responsibilities at home. This week, we gave a talk about the role of caring and now offer their employees who are unpaid carers a free break at Kingham Cottage. We are looking forward to developing this new relationship and supporting unpaid carers in the workplace.

Research by Carers UK

The facts and figures about unpaid carers in the workplace don’t make easy reading. According to recent surveys, 3 million people combine caring for a loved one with paid work and every year, over 2 million people become carers, some overnight, some more gradually. Carers make up 11% of the total UK workforce, 1 in every 9 employees. Furthermore, 25% of carers in the UK say they haven’t had a break for five years.

Support for unpaid carers in the workplace

Like all small charities, we are dependent on funding which is getting increasingly difficult to win. Some call it fundraising fatigue since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Last year we discovered we were in the top 30 of 256 applications, which in ‘normal’ times would have resulted in a grant award. Not this time.

It means we are casting our net wider, namely to the business sector. The approach is to support organisations with carer-friendly cultures by offering their employees – those with caring responsibilities at home – a free break. We offer people in the HR function a nice conversation to have with the employees at a time when they might be struggling, if not visibly.

We are building the kind of win: win relationship where we support employees in exchange for a donation to After Umbrage. Perhaps the corporate might create a fundraising project or even add us to the nomination list for their charity of the year? Setting up payroll giving is another option. We enjoy a great relationship with Marmalade Insurance in Peterborough for example and are part of their Marmalade Foundation. Regardless, you will be helping us fund our work and raise awareness.

About Kingham Cottage

Kingham Cottage is a detached, beautifully converted, former farm building with a cosy interior, offering original character. Beams, stained glass windows, oak floors, oak window seats and original exposed stonework are all featured is this delightful stone cottage. There is plenty to do on the doorstep; picturesque walks in the countryside and Bath itself is just five minutes away, a World Heritage site with attractions to suite any taste.

Our story

Our Founder, Tara Belcher, created After Umbrage after the death of her father. She cared for her parents who both died of cancer ten years apart. Her lived experience drives the small team to encourage carers to take a much-needed break to rest and restore. That way, they can continue their vital work, saving the UK economy £132 billion every year  – the equivalent of a second NHS. Umbrage is the name of Tara’s mother’s teddy bear that represents comfort and care.

Booking a free break

It’s easy to book a free break via our website. The carer referral form is available to download from most pages of our website. Our referral network of hospices, GPs, and fellow charities such as Caring Together are authorised to ‘stamp’ the referral form. They are our eyes and ears to reach carers and we know they would help us insure legitimate people apply. We can extend this trust to our business partners once relationships are established.

Can you help us reach more businesses?

Can you help us spread the word? We raise awareness via low cost marketing – social media and email mainly. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Also, we’d love you to stay in touch via our monthly newsletter which is easy to sign up for.

Staying in touch 

I hope this gives you a feel for how we support businesses with employees who have caring responsibilities at home. All our beneficiaries are carers of loved ones living with a life-limiting condition. That said, feel free to ask any questions that come to mind. You can contact us via For more information about the charity please visit and read our blog as we update it regularly.