Public urged to get walking in support of family carers

Pictured at the launch of Paws for a Cause are Tracy Carroll from Kells, Co. Meath and her daughter Willow (4), Netwatch Brand Ambassador and Ireland rugby legend, Mick Galwey and Family Carers Ireland's Head of Communications & Policy, Catherine Cox with Bo the Jack Russell Terrier cross and Cindy the greyhound. Tracy cares full time for Willow who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, is PEG-fed and has other complex medical needs. (Photo: Mark Stedman)

Family Carers Ireland has launched its ‘Paws for a Cause’ national fundraising drive which is taking place during National Carers Week from June 7-13th.

The charity is asking people all over Ireland to walk or run 24k over 7 days with or without their furry friend in solidarity with Ireland’s 500,000 family carers and in recognition of the 24/7 nature of many caring roles.

A hardship fund established in 2020 at the height of the pandemic to help family carers in crisis has run out of money due to the demands for help from those struggling mentally, physically and financially.

All monies raised by ‘Paws for a Cause’, which is kindly supported by, will go directly to help family carers in crisis.

The last twelve months have been incredibly difficult for all but, in particular for family carers who saw services and supports for their loved ones depleted and, in many cases, eradicated.

The blanket withdrawal of supports such as homecare, respite, personal assistance hours and residential care during lockdown forced many to care alone, around the clock and without the support of extended family or friends.

Family Carers Ireland’s ‘Caring Through Covid’ report, which explored the experiences of 1,307 family carers caring during Covid-19, found that the pandemic is having a profound impact on their lives.

Not only are they caring without practical supports, but they are also struggling financially and are worried about what the future holds for them and the people they care for.

Parents of children with a disability lost the routine and relief of school, day services and essential therapies, placing their children at serious risk of regression. Older carers and those with underlying health conditions were expected to cocoon, isolated and became reliant on others.

Even carers who were coping relatively well prior to the pandemic became mentally and physically drained, with many struggling to maintain their caring role.


Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Policy, Family Carers Ireland said: “Family Carers Ireland has campaigned tirelessly, over the past 12 months in particular, for recognition and support for Ireland’s 500,000 family carers.

“Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, we have supported family carers by sourcing and distributing tens of thousands of gloves, masks, hand sanitiser and aprons to family carers who were unable to access PPE.

“By supporting our Paws for a Cause fundraiser, you will help to provide a vital lifeline to the forgotten frontline of this pandemic and shine a light on their remarkable contribution to our society.”