Although National Carers Week is coming to an end, it is important that we do not forget the staggering contribution that carers make to society each year.

Carers work tirelessly to improve the quality of the lives of friends and family members who are ill, frail or disabled and they form an invisible workforce that is worth £119 billion every year.

However caring can have a big impact on a person’s life - on having a job, on life long learning, on earning enough to live on. We know first hand from the people we support at Turn2us that caring can lead to severe financial hardship. This week we published a survey revealing that nearly 50% of carers are not receiving Carer’s Allowance, yet many are facing financial problems.

Almost a quarter of the carers we surveyed do not receive any benefits at all; yet, over two-fifths struggle to pay their energy bills.

In light of this, Turn2us is urging carers to find out whether there are benefits that they may be entitled to and money available from charitable funds. Turn2us has an easy to use, benefits checker at www.turn2us.org.uk, which carers can use to make sure they are claiming everything they are entitled to, and a grants database giving access to over 3,500 charitable funds. We encourage carers to visit the website today for free, and in confidence.

If your readers can also spread the word, we can make sure carers get a bit more help that could make such a difference.

Alison Taylor, Director of Turn2us, 200 Shepherd’s Bush Road, London W6 7NL by email