A ground-breaking initiative to help carers return to work is showing early signs of success, despite being launched in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

To mark Carers Rights Day (26 November) the North of Tyne Combined Authority has released some of the results of the pilot project to date:

  • 43 carers across Newcastle, North Tyneside, and Northumberland have been reached with one to one support
  • 9 carers have gained employment
  • 5 carers are currently in training

The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) is working in partnership with 3 charities to support 450 carers in their journeys to paid employment over the course of the 2-and-a-half-year pilot. Newcastle Carers, North Tyneside Carers Centre, and Carers Northumberland are all involved in delivering the scheme. Between them the 3 charities actively support around 9,000 working age carers across the North of Tyne, around 3,000 of whom are not in any form of paid work. Carers Rights Day aims to ensure carers know their rights and where they can get help and support. A recent report from Carers UK found that three-quarters of carers are exhausted and worn out as a result of caring during the pandemic.

Cllr Joyce McCarty, North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Employability and Inclusion, said: “We know that these are incredibly tough times for carers looking after loved ones. Our ‘Return to Work Carers’ project aims to help anyone in Newcastle, North Tyneside, or Northumberland who wants to return to work but who needs a bit of extra support to do so. We believe this scheme will also help give local employers a pool of potential recruits and a chance to build a diverse workforce.”

Image of Cllr Joyce McCarty.

Cllr Joyce McCarty, North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Employability and Inclusion

Rachel Parsons, Chief Executive of Newcastle Carers, said: “Anybody who’s been a carer has had an awful lot to balance and has had a huge amount of responsibility. Being reliable, organised, punctual – all those things come with being a carer and all these skills are transferable into the workplace. Carers are fantastic problem solvers.”

Rachel Parsons, from Newcastle Carers, talking about Return to Work Carers on a video call

Rachel Parsons, Newcastle Carers

Further information:

If you are a carer:

If you are an employer: