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Songs of praise for Carers Trust

Chloe Stimson (young carer), Angela Rippon, Giles Meyer (CEO, Carers Trust), Jennie Bond, Graham Wilding, Jo Brand

The selfless dedication of Britain’s seven million unpaid carers has been celebrated with a Christmas Carol Concert by Carers Trust which raised nearly £14,800 for the charity.

The inaugural event took place on 5 December at the historic St Mary-le-Bow Church in London and was sponsored by CLC World Charity Holidays.

CLC World’s Brand Ambassador Jennie Bond did a reading but also spoke movingly to the audience of her own experience of caring for her mother, who died in September at the age of 95.

“I feel I have some understanding of the pressures and satisfaction of caring for a loved one,” she said. “I helped care for my mother in her last years of extreme frailty and dementia.”

One of Britain’s best loved comedians, Jo Brand is a former psychiatric nurse and recited a poem about carers which she had composed specially for the night.

She spoke of her joy at attending an event in support of the “quiet army of people who dedicate themselves to others.”

All those who took part, whether as performer, invited guest, or audience member were welcomed in a note from the charity’s President, HRH The Princess Royal.

Note from Princess Anne

Jennie and Jo were joined on the night by BBC stalwart Angela Rippon, for an evening of carols and readings backed up by the soaring voices of the City of London Choir.

Giles Meyer, CEO of Carers Trust, said: “The Christmas carol concert was a first for us and its remarkable success is something we plan to repeat in the future. It has helped to raise the profile of a sometimes hidden and under-represented group of people, unpaid carers, who are working tirelessly around the clock, often with little support, to care for their family and friends.”

Graham Wilding, UK Operations Director for CLC World Resorts & Hotels, said the concert had been a chance to give thanks for the work done by “carers of all ages across the UK”.

“We believe in the work done by the charity so we can help them by donating holiday time to carers and their families at our resorts in the UK.”

The event attracted media coverage from the celebrity news magazine Hello! and received a mention on BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme in a piece about young carers. You can read the Hello! article here.