Established in 2009, The Care Workers’ Charity (The CWC) exists to support care workers, give them a voice and advocate for the social care workforce. There are about 2 million care workers in the UK, many of whom exist on low pay and zero hours contracts. The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged thousands of care workers into financial crisis due to the need to self-isolate, or shield for a period of time with the resulting loss of income. The pandemic has brought care workers into the spotlight, educating the general public about the importance of and outstanding hard work being carried out by this sector, as well as highlighting the sacrifice made by many care workers during the pandemic.
The CWC launched the COVID-19 Emergency Fund on 30 March 2020 to support care workers who have been affected by the virus from falling into debt and poverty. The Emergency Fund awards grants of £500-£2000. The Scheinberg Relief Fund has made a donation to the Emergency Fund, which has facilitated £570,000 donated in grants to 863 care workers, as well as funded the salary of an additional member of staff to speed up the grant making process, so funds can be sent out more quickly.
Since launching the fund, over 1,500 applications have been received, a 1000% increase week on week, compared to last year. To date over 600 grants have been awarded totalling over £400k. With an estimated 500,000 care staff currently off sick, approx 25% of an already strained workforce, The CWC’s grants are vital.