#CharityIs the difference £5 makes

Mar 17, 2016

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Gail Scott-Spicer, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, explains how donations of just £5 can positively affect the life of an infant carer.

To be charitable is to be human. It implies kindness, tolerance, compassion, generosity and understanding, among other things. Being charitable implies that there is a beneficiary, a life improved as a result of a charitable act. It implies offering a lifeline of hope that things can be different, better, changed through the catalyst of charitable behaviour.

So why would we not want to be charitable if it demonstrates the very best of us? Have we created obstacles to our desire to be charitable?

Have we created charitable entities that make it too difficult for charitable people to see the difference they can make? Is the donor too far removed from the beneficiary?

Have we diminished the idea of charitable purpose by blurring the boundaries between what the state provides and what charities provide?

I work for Carers Trust, a carers organisation, and as CEO, my role is to ensure that our charity is transparent, impactful and has a clear purpose. Without that, we cannot engage charitable people with our work.

“Being charitable implies that there is a beneficiary, a life improved as a result of a charitable act. It implies offering a lifeline of hope that things can be different, better, changed through the catalyst of charitable behaviour.”

Gail Scott-Spicer

We can understand what it means to be charitable today by looking at Aidan’s life. I want people to know that when they give us £5 it will genuinely help Aidan who has to care for his mum because despite a social care assessment, no support is provided to her. Aidan, at only 5 years of age, knows how to use the washing machine and how to dial 999 when his mum’s lips go blue. Aidan is terrified of his mum dying. Aidan is filling the gap between what the state is unable to provide and the needs of his mum. He is filling this gap at great personal cost, risking the loss of his childhood. I know you would want to help Aidan.

A gift of £5 can help Aidan directly by giving him access to family support.

But here’s the real catalyst of charitable endeavour. It can also help other infant carers, at least 10,000 of them across the UK to be identified and get support through other community based programmes. Programmes which can be scaled up based on what has been learned from supporting Aidan.

And importantly, through highlighting the needs of Aidan, we can strive for change, ensuring that legislation for young carers is implemented and that the changes sought are delivered on the ground. £5 can go a long way to delivering change that results in individual support for infants like Aidan. That’s because the £5 is a strategic as well as tactical gift.

Being charitable, in its traditional sense, means looking through a lens at Aidan and wanting to do something for him. Being charitable in today’s complex world also means recognising that there are many ways to change Aidan’s life, now and in the future. Charitable entities like Carers Trust are well placed to deliver that change strategically and tactically, so that your £5 makes a difference to Aidan and thousands like him.

This blog is part of the #CharityIs campaign to champion the charity sector. Join us as we use the power of social media to highlight how charities improve our daily lives.