A CHARITY that started as an opportunity for a man caring for his sick wife to enjoy a game of golf last week celebrated its 30th anniversary.
From those humble beginnings, Carers Careline has grown into being the go-to organisation in Redditch for anyone who cares for, or supports a neighbour, relative or friend.
And in a town where some 8,000 people act as informal carers, the role of Carers Careline has never been more important.
Despite this it’s been touch and go over the years whether the charity, which is entirely self-funding, would survive.
Addressing more than 50 carers and supporters at the 30th birthday party in Community House, manager Fiona Mitchell said: “This time last year we really didn’t know if Carers Careline would still be here and we had some very interesting few days back then, so to be standing here with you celebrating 30 years is really something special.”
Last September, the charity received a £165,760 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, but fund-raising continues with the charity, based in the Ecumenical Centre, this month launching its own ‘100 Club’ to establish a regular income.
One of the people at the party was carer Chris Lang, who described the charity as ‘absolutely essential’.
“As a carer, when my partner was diagnosed with a condition, it was so useful to have the help and support of Carers Careline,” she said.
“Just knowing what was available was a huge help, and they are always there for you.
They are an absolute lifeline.
Without them a lot of people would be sitting in their homes, burdened down by the pressure of caring for someone, slowly dying away without knowing there is help out there.”
Among the guests were local MP Rachel Maclean, who said: “I have heard a lot about Carers Careline and I wanted to come along and say thank you personally, because I know how important it is in our community.
“Organisations like this are absolutely amazing and it is really humbling to be here.
“I hope they continue for another 30 years.”