Staff at a Cirencester firm donned goofy glasses to make a serious announcement – a pledge to raise £10,000 for young carers in the county.
Colleagues at land and property agent and auctioneers Moore Allen & Innocent took part in the charity’s Snazzy Specs campaign to mark national Young Carers Awareness Day 2020 and announced Gloucestershire Young Carers as their charity of the year.
The team also baked cakes to be sold by the charity when it took over the tearooms at the Colesbourne Park Snowdrops Event, and throughout the year colleagues will be participating in fundraising initiatives including quiz nights and the annual Big Breakfast.
Their big fundraising effort will be a charity bike ride with a difference – a 175 kilometre ride around Gloucestershire and Wiltshire on a seven-person bicycle called a conference bike. It’s a circular bike with every rider pedalling while one cyclist – facing the direction of travel – steers and controls the brakes.
The distance of the 175km challenge is significant because the firm celebrates its 175th anniversary this year. The bike ride will call at Moore Allen & Innocent offices in Tetbury, Cirencester and Lechlade, and at farms where the firm holds its regular agricultural machinery sales.
Associate partner Anthony Wright said: “In previous years we’ve smashed our fundraising target. Let’s see if we can do it again!”
At the fundraising launch the team were joined by Jane Dyer, fundraising and marketing manager at Gloucestershire Young Carers, who explained the work of the organisation in reducing the impact on the lives of children and young people who care for an adult suffering from physical or mental illnesses or, in some cases, substance abuse.
There are an estimated 7,000 young carers in Gloucestershire, and the charity supports 1,000 of them. The youngest is just eight years old.
Their work involves running support groups, where the young carers can get help and advice from professionals while giving and receiving mutual support from their peers. The charity also provides day trips and events to give the young people brief respite from their caring role.
Mental health support for the young people is also vital, many young people in a caring role reporting mental health issues like anxiety or depression. One-to-one support is also available.
Colleagues also heard from young carer Jamie, whose mum has fibromyalgia syndrome, depression, and autoimmune disease. The 17-year-old has cared for her for nearly a decade – and helped to raise his sisters, who are now aged 11 and four.
Jamie’s daily routine has involved doing housework before and after school, and even helping his mum with her own job when she was well enough to work. After leaving full-time education, Jamie landed a job at Halford’s – an employer he says has been very supportive.
His ambition is to join the Air Force, and as an air cadet he has been accepted on an RAF training programme, which will take him away from home for the first time. Jamie spoke of struggling with feelings of guilt about leaving his family while following his ambition of becoming an avionics technician – feelings that staff and volunteers at Gloucestershire Young Carers have helped him to work through.
Fundraising and marketing manager for Gloucestershire Young Carers, Jane Dyer, says: “It is so important to us that we build impactful relationships with local companies – so they are really making a difference to the people in their community. The funds that Moore Allen and Innocent raise will go directly towards the work we do in support of young carers, prioritising the young carers in Cirencester and Tetbury and the area the company works in. But as well as the funds we hope that staff will meet more young carers and get involved in supporting them directly at events throughout the year.” To support the team’s fundraising efforts head to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/MooreAllenInnocent