Scores of people who care for their own friends and family members queued to get access to vital savings on Friday.
The Carers Passport discount scheme – which has so far been rolled out to more than 1,000 people in other areas of Herts including Watford and Three Rivers – has now arrived in Dacorum and attracted hundreds of unpaid carers to a launch event in Hemel Hempstead’s central library.
The personalised card offers savings in shops, restaurants and leisure venues including The Fragrance Shop and Chiquito, as well as local services.
Sue Reeve, chief executive of Carers in Hertfordshire – the charity behind the scheme – said: “This will help us to know who the carers are, and that way we can help them get better support and help when they need it.
“It will also mean that carers will get discounts and concessions on more than 100 businesses and services which will put pennies in their pockets and help with the cost of caring.”
Jackie Campbell of Queensway has cared for her 25-year-old daughter Rebecca, who has learning difficulties, since she was born. Jackie said: “Hopefully this will help me financially, because I’m a single parent and unable to work because I care full time.”
Madeline and Dave Bulpit, of Grovehill, look after their son, aged 38, who has severe epilepsy and learning difficulties.
Dave said: “We were only assigned a social worker last year who told us about the meetings run by Carers in Hertfordshire. It’s so good to know that there are people around who can help us. We were caring on our own for nearly 30 years.”
Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning has worked with Carers in Hertfordshire for a number of years and met many Dacorum carers at the event, at which catering was provided free of charge by Sainsbury’s Woodhall Farm manager Mike Judge.
Mr Penning said: “As local MP I am really chuffed about it. If we can help people who perhaps don’t know about the carers groups available or people that are really tired or need that bit of help, it’s a great idea.
“We are reaching people that haven’t been reached before. A lot of people don’t see themselves as carers, they do it for love, and they need that little bit of TLC which this is trying to help.”
For more about the charity and passport scheme, including to sign up or get your business on board, click here to visit the Carers In Herts website or call 01992 586969.