Who we are and what we do: Ron's role as co-founder of Advocare
Ron Drewett, Co-founder of Advocare
When I was caring for my wife who had cancer I felt I was in the 'forgotten army'. I was held for so long in the caring role but after my wife died I collapsed, just like a weak jelly coming out of a mould. On realising that I wasn't alone in experiencing the 'invisible' toll that stress has on carers I helped Cathey set up the Advocare Steering Group in 1999. Two years later I became a Trustee of Advocare. I am well into my eighties now and although no longer a Trustee, as an Advocarer I still help with strategy development and fund-raising.
The 'invisible' toll on carers
Although some aspects of caring have improved in recent years, we're all living longer nowadays and fewer and fewer residential care placements for we old folk and the cost of support services to maintain our independence has gone through the roof. There is a greater demand for family carers whilst at the same time greater demands are being placed upon them. It is now estimated there are six million carers in the UK (which is the population of London)who save this country over GBP 87 billion a year.
Despite the rhetoric, I think many carers and former carers are finding it much harder to cope. They often can't afford the basic, crucial services they need. As well as supporting carers, Advocare makes representations to the appropriate authorities when required. When their loved-one dies or goes into a home the carer tends to be left isolated and bereft. Advocare helps those no longer caring full time to pick up the threads of their own lives again.
Please support our work
For the kind of work we do it is crucial for our organisation to retain its integrity. To do this Advocare needs to remain financially independent. Currently we rely on donations from members. We also sell badges at GBP 2 each to help with running costs. In order to expand and develop on a national basis Advocare needs appropriate funding. For this it needs to acquire full charitable status.
Any organisation applying for registration as a charity is required by the Charity Commission to have a cash limit of GBP 5 000. Very generous sponsors have pledged GBP 2 600 to Advocare but we need help in raising the rest. You can do this by simply buying a badge, by becoming a Friend of Advocare or by providing sponsorship. For details please contact Cathey on (01202) 737592.