Millennium launch of invaluable appeal

EDP We Care 2000 was launched in October 1998 as the county's millennium appeal, with a target of raising £1m to help unpaid carers in their important and often under-valued role.

EDP We Care 2000 was launched in October 1998 as the county's millennium appeal, with a target of raising £1m to help unpaid carers in their important and often under-valued role.

So far, the appeal has raised £774,000 - much of this from the people of Norfolk, through fundraising events, donations and charitable grants.

Every penny of that is invested by the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers which gives an annual income of £30,000 from the interest. All this is given out in grants to individual carers and groups that support carers, young and old, in the county.

Since the trust began giving grants, in December 2000, a total of £151,000 has been given from this general fund to 439 individual carers and 39 carers' groups which have, in turn, helped many more people around Norfolk.

For the past four years, thanks to a Community Fund grant of £50,000 per year, the appeal has also been able to give out further grants for wheelchair power packs, computers and white goods like washing machines and tumble driers. By September, when this funding will finally run out, around £170,000 will have been given out to a total of 385 carers.

The running costs of the trust, including the wages of a part-time administration support worker, have been covered by the Community Fund monies until now, but will have to be paid for in future out of the income generated by the interest.

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This means that the Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers will only have around £24,000 at its disposal each year to give out in grants, just about a third of what was previously available.

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