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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Shropshire launch for Royal British Legion new project to support carers

The Royal British Legion (RBL) has launched ‘Network for Carers’, a project designed to support carers within the Armed Forces Community who feel isolated or lonely. The project will launch with the first group event in the West Midlands at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.   

The project is designed to support carers within the Armed Forces Community who feel isolated or lonely
The project is designed to support carers within the Armed Forces Community who feel isolated or lonely

Funded via a grant from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust’s Tackling Loneliness programme, the programme offers monthly face-to-face and virtual social groups to provide opportunities for the military community to access support and share knowledge and experiences.   

The announcement follows new research by RBL that shows 70% of carers in the Armed Forces community surveyed say caring has negatively affected their mental health, with 50% saying it has affected their physical health.   

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Jane Britton, Royal British Legion’s Social Isolation Lead, said: 

“The RBL’s research has revealed a troubling situation for many carers in the Armed Forces community. The strain of caring has damaged their mental and physical health and very few are able to take a break which is why establishing this Network for Carers is so important.

“The purpose of this new project is to help Armed Forces carers feel less lonely and isolated because of their caring role. By connecting the military community with their shared memories and experiences, the Network for Carers social groups will support people to develop friendships, interests and engage more with their communities.”  

For unpaid carers who have a family member currently serving in the Armed Forces, nearly 90% say their own mental health has been negatively affected. The research also identified that unpaid carers within the Armed Forces community are receiving half as much support as carers in the civilian population. Despite carers in the Armed Forces community being at high-risk of loneliness and isolation, 40% of unpaid carers admitted they had received no support at all over the last two years. Over the course of the pandemic, half of carers have seen a reduction in the availability of support and services that they and the person they care for need.  

RBL is inviting members of the Armed Forces with caring responsibilities who would like to attend one of the social groups to register their interest. Are you a carer within the Armed Forces community? Are you struggling to look after a loved one or feel they would benefit from having a wider support network of those in a similar situation? You can register for the first face-to-face social group at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Friday 19 November 2021 via rbl.org.uk/networkforcarers.

In total, the RBL intends to establish a total of twenty support groups across the UK during the Network for Carers project, all of which will be held in safe environments that are connected to the Armed Forces community.   

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