The term 'carer' is often unknown and confused with that of a paid carer. The Princess Royal Trust for Carers is constantly trying to raise the profile of who a carer is, so that many more of the six million in the UK come forward and receive the help and support that is available.
Often their caring responsibilities only come to light when they reach a crisis point, either getting ill themselves or feeling very down. If they had been recognised as carers earlier we could have helped them and the crisis might have been avoided.
One of the key ways we are trying to get carers to recognise themselves is by enlisting the help of prominent figures who are willing to attend photo shoots, launch appeals, boost morale, host events, or speak to the media.
We are very grateful for the support we receive and would like to thank the following:
Actress Pam Ferris has had a long-standing career in the industry and is best known for playing Ma Larkin in Darling Buds of May, Agatha Trunchbull in Matilda and Aunt Marge in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Pam has personal experience of being a carer. She is a leading campaigner for carers and has supported The Trust for a number of years in many ways, such as fronting national awareness raising campaigns, visiting our Network of Carers Centres, signing appeal letters, launching competitions and even running drama classes for carers.
Pam became a Vice President of The Trust in July 2004.
With an acting career spanning over forty films, as well as stage and television appearances, Sheila has now added working alongside The Princess Royal Trust to her busy schedule.
Sheila has offered to provide statements for press release and our website, sign a letter to editor and appear in promotional films including voiceovers.
Sheila has agreed to help with the Simplyhealth Caring Awards 2008.
Respected author of Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China and Mao: The Unknown Story, Jung Chang has her own story to tell of being an unpaid carer and has recently come on board to raise awareness of The Trust by providing quotes and attending fundraising events.
Television, film and theatre actor Nigel Havers is probably best known for his BAFTA-nominated role as Lord Andrew Lindsay in the 1981 British film Chariots of Fire. He has now taken on the role of Trust ambassador and is using his own experiences to reach out to other unpaid carers.
Nigel has recently signed a letter to the editor for Pontin's Breaks for Carers 2008 held during Carers Week.
Bad Girls and Emmerdale star Claire King has cared for a family member and so understands the pressures of being an unpaid carer.
Claire supported The Trust in 2007 by presenting a film for the This Morning Care for Carers Appeal. She discovered how the charity really has become a lifeline for an elderly carer from Harrogate who looks after his wife with Alzheimer’s.
Most recently, she has spread the message of unpaid carers further by signing a letter to editor in support of our Forever Friend joint pin-badge appeal with The Children’s Trust.
Hollywood star Billy Boyd, best known as Pippin in Lord of the Rings, knows at first hand someone who is involved with caring for a relative. He wanted to get involved because “people don't really talk about it”.
Amongst the activities that he has kindly carried out for The Trust, Billy has not only launched The Trust’s Capital Sevens tournament, but has also spoken of The Trust’s work in Scottish national newspaper The Scotsman.
Edinburgh-based author Ian Rankin is one of the best-selling crime writers in the United Kingdom, best known for the widely acclaimed Inspector Rebus novels. He owes part of his success to his son who suffers from a rare genetic disorder and says his writing developed through the anger and frustration that he felt with his son’s condition.
Ian is enthusiastic about helping children with special needs and their carers and as such has supported The Trust by attending fundraising event Dakota Ladies Lunch in 2007.
Lynda Bellingham is a well-known figure in most British homes after having appeared on our television screens as the Oxo mum. Other prominent roles include All Creatures Great and Small, Second Thoughts and Faith in the Future. Most recently, she has joined the panel on Loose Women.
Lynda, who has cared for a family member, has supported The Trust in many ways. Some of these include signing a letter to the editor for the Simplyhealth Awards 2007, providing a voiceover for a short film and attending successful fundraising events.
Comedian Jo Brand is perhaps best known for her smart one liners on stage and her appearances on television shows such as Have I got News for You _and _QI. Before all of this however, she actually trained and worked as a psychiatric nurse and so would have come across carers in her past profession.
We are pleased to say that Jo has recently agreed to come on board and support unpaid carers and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and so we look forward to working with her in the future.
Model Lorraine became famous in 1977 when she appeared in a TV advert for Campari in which she was asked: "Were you truly wafted here from paradise?" and replied: "Nah, Luton Airport." She has since written a book, had a successful acting career both on stage, starring in Little Shop of Horrors and Pygmalion, and more recently on our television screens as Stephanie Stokes in Emmerdale.
Lorraine has cared for a member of her family and so fully understands the emotional toil that caring for another can entail. She has so far been involved with The Princess Royal Trust for Carers by attending the Carers Tea Party in Bath and has spent a lot of time talking to carers about their experiences.
Television presenter, comedy and pantomime actor and 2007 winner of I’m a celebrity… get me out of here! Christopher Biggins, recently leant his jolly personality to act as auctioneer at a fundraising event for The Trust.
World champion Rebecca Romero won a silver medal at the Athens 2004 Olympics for rowing and then, following a back injury, took up cycling the following year. She now represents one of the leading candidates for winning the Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008.
Rebecca took time out from her Beijing Olympic Games training to pledge her support to the team of cyclists who embarked on a grueling 479 mile sponsored bike ride between the three Butlins resorts in the Tour de Butlins in order to raise awareness and funds for unpaid carers.
Television actor Kezia Walker is used to chasing London’s criminals as DC Cat Simmonds in The Bill. She recently joined forces with another side of London by showing her appreciation to the city’s 750,000 unpaid family carers and supporting the sponsored London Thames Walk, held on Sunday 8 June to celebrate Carers Week 2008.