Care for the Carers is asking everyone across East Sussex and beyond to help us celebrate our 30th year by taking part in our many exciting events for 2019.

Formed in 1989, we support and represent unpaid carers across East Sussex, providing information and advice, support groups, counselling and offering social activities to help give carers a much-needed break.

Yvonne Wiggan is a carer in Eastbourne, and is one of the thousands of carers who has benefited from support from the charity over the years: “Care for the Carers has always been there for me, whether it's advice or support they have guided me through some very tricky times. They have made me realise the value of my caring role to my son. Care for the Carers has meant that I have someone to listen to my concerns and to guide me and not to be judgmental of me, though remaining professional at all times.”

HRH Princess Anne with young carer in 2012

The Royal Visit

Garnering some high profile backing over the years, our supporters include the HRH The Princess Royal, who recognised the vital role unpaid carers perform in society by opening the Eastbourne Carers Centre in 2012.

In 1999, then UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, also provided his encouragement, writing at the time to Care for the Carers: “I know the very difficult and stressful work carers do, and this country owes them a great debt.”

Carers save the economy £132 billion per year, an average of £19,336 per carer.1

80s celebrations

To help celebrate our 30th anniversary, throughout 2019 Care for the Carers will be selling tickets for our Grand Raffle, including fantastic prizes from many local East Sussex businesses.

As the charity was founded in the '80s, a major ‘80s celebration is planned at Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion later in the year, and we are asking local people to support carers by holding their own '80s-themed fundraising parties. Would you like to host your own '80s party in aid of carers?

Challenge events

Managers at the charity will be doing their own individual challenges to help raise funds for carers, too. Jennifer Twist, Chief Executive Officer, will be cycling from Eastbourne to Paris, and Jo Egan will be walking the South Downs Way, with her family joining her for the hike.

Caroline Foord of local solicitors’ firm, Heringtons, will be running the London Marathon in April in aid of Care for the Carers.

If you’d like to volunteer your support to the charity, do get in contact.

Rise in carers in East Sussex

Currently roughly 10% of the population are carers, but East Sussex has experienced a 17% increase in number of carers over the past five years.2 There are an estimated 51 new carers every day in East Sussex.3

Jennifer Twist, Chief Executive Officer at Care for the Carers, says: “The number of unpaid carers in East Sussex has now grown from approximately 42,000 in 1989 4, to 66,472 today. These carers need your help. Many carers are not aware that they are entitled to support, and that help is out there. Looking after a loved one can be hugely isolating, and often takes its toll on your health, mental wellbeing, finances and relationships. No one should be left to care alone."

If you’re a carer in East Sussex, please get in contact, and if you’d like to support our work we’d also love to hear from you. Call 01323 738390 or email [email protected]


1 Stats from Carers UK, page accessed December 2018:

2 Estimated total amount of unpaid carers in East Sussex in 2018 is 66,472. Figures calculated by Care for the Carers based on projected growth from 2011 UK census figures:

  • Eastbourne: 11,988
  • Hastings: 10,030
  • Lewes: 13,027
  • Rother: 12,675
  • Wealden: 18,549

3 Transitions in and out of Care, Carers UK (2014)

Back in 1989, carers weren’t officially recognised in the UK census, so we’ve analysed information available about local residents from 2001-2011 to estimate the percentage rise in the number of carers in East Sussex since 1989. Extrapolating this census data backwards, there were an estimated 42,000 carers in East Sussex in 1989. With 66,472 carers now estimated in East Sussex, analysis of the available data suggests a 58% increase in the number of carers in East Sussex since 1989. (Note there has also been an increase in population simultaneously.)

See more stats about carers in East Sussex