A new local fund has been launched at the Community Foundation to enable people to achieve their potential, with young and adult carers one of the priority areas for support.

The Curtin PARP (Passionate About Realising your Potential) Fund at the Community Foundation was established with a generous gift of nearly £865,000 by Professor Nicola Curtin and aims to help individuals realise their potential in life. For more information click here.

The caring role can have a huge impact on aspirations and career options. Young carers miss or cut short an average of 48 school days per year and achieve 9 GCSE grades less than other pupils. As young adults, they’re significantly more likely to drop out of college, university or training than their peers. Each year, hundreds of adults give up work to become full-time carers, missing out on opportunities to develop skills and progress their careers.

The Fund will support a range of activities to help people to develop the skills, talents and confidence to overcome barriers to employment or education. Priority will be given to carers, black and minority ethnic people, disabled people, homeless people and people who are experiencing disadvantage that prevents them from realising their potential.

“Essentially I went into cancer research because it is interesting and I wanted to improve people’s health. I have been lucky that my research has contributed to something that has also brought in revenue. I regard this as over and above what I need and would like to help people who haven’t had my advantages to realise their potential. The aim is to help people at a disadvantage get on that ladder, or another step up it, so they can achieve their life goals. I feel that carers may have restricted their opportunities by their kindness in looking after a loved-one and would like to help them to fulfil their potential.” Nicola Curtin

The fund is managed by Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland. Grant applications should be submitted by a community group or charity. Young carers can apply to the fund through us – click here to fill in an enquiry form. Adult carers should get in touch with Gateshead Carers Association at [email protected]

All applications must demonstrate clear aims, opportunity for progression, and measurable outcomes, showing how the planned activity will help the individual or group to realise their potential. Grants from £750 to £3k will be considered.

For the full guidelines visit the Community Foundation fund page here.