The Care Workers’ Charity supports current and former care worker (who meet eligibility criteria) by providing crisis grants to ease the negative effects of unexpected life events.
COVID-19 is one of the biggest crisis’ our generation will see in its lifetime. Care Workers are at the frontline of this, caring for society’s most vulnerable and most susceptible to the disease. If a care worker needs to self-isolate, they will fall into desperate need. For this reason, more funds are needed for extra emergency grants. If the full amount is raised that will enable The Care Worker’s Charity (CWC) to support just 180 care workers through hardship.
There are almost 2 million care workers in the UK, contributing to one of the largest workforces. These workers care for some of the most vulnerable people in our society – often for little reward. They spend their careers assisting others, but when circumstances change, sometimes it is the care workers who need some help.
It will come as no surprise to hear that people working in care tend to be low paid and subsequently less able to cope in the event of a financial crisis. According to research by the Real Living Wage Foundation, 43% of all workers in social care are paid less than the Real Living Wage, compared with 23% of the wider working population. This means that care workers are twice as likely as other workers to be living in poverty. In addition to this, 35% of care workers are on a zero-hours contract, which leaves them with no income at all if they are unable to work for any reason. We witness this financial vulnerability daily as nearly every single care worker who has applied to CWC for a grant over the last 6 months has fallen below the Minimum Income Standard (as defined by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation).
Care work is physically and emotionally demanding work. As demonstrated in CWC’s Beating Heart of Care Report, 51% of workers surveyed said that they considered leaving the job because of the impact it was having on their mental health; and 37% of their survey participants said they had taken time off for work induced stress and poor mental health.
Karolina Gerlich is a member of the Sustainable Care programme’s Advisory Board and is the Executive Director of The Care Workers’ Charity
Previously CEO of Nacas, Karolina took up her position at the Care Workers’ Charity on the 23rd March to work on policy and campaigning, including research and the Professional Care Workers’ Day to the Care Workers Charity.