On 12 January 2023, Carer Ambassadors Neil Joesbury and Marie Bushell kicked off their fundraising this year for not-for-profit organisation, Forward Carers by undertaking a ten-mile walk. Neil and Marie are both unpaid Carers for family members and are passionate about raising awareness of unpaid Carers who support a loved one who has a disability, serious illness, frailty, or addiction.

Neil works with Zoe Trawford (pictured above) at Marks and Spencer in Sutton Coldfield and are part of the company’s Big Involvement Group where they support staff who would like to change their working hours to fit around caring responsibilities.

Neil said, “I’m really grateful that my managers are understanding and flexible around my caring responsibilities to my dad and my brother. I would like other businesses to be supportive to their Working Carers, that’s why I volunteer as a Carer Ambassador to promote carer friendly communities, places that value and support unpaid Carers.”

There is still time to make a donation to Forward Carers, here is what your money can do:

  • A £10 donation could provide a new Carer access to training to support them in their caring role
  • A £20 donation could help a bereaved Carer to access emotional support
  • A £35 donation could provide a meal kit for a Young Carer to be able to cook for their family

To sponsor Neil, visit https://forwardcarers.enthuse.com/pf/neil-joesbury and to sponsor Marie, visit https://forwardcarers.enthuse.com/pf/marie-bushell

Marie, Neil and Zoe started their walk at 11.00am from Marks and Spencer Longbridge, one of the largest new Marks and Spencer stores in Europe. Fellow Carer and Carer Ambassador, Anne Barnes was there along with a Forward Carers staff member to cheer them on their way.

From there, the trio walked through Northfield high street distributing leaflets calling in to the Forward Carers office in Selly Oak for a quick pit stop before heading on their way to Birmingham City Centre.

If you would like to become a volunteer for Forward Carers, find out how you can get involved here.