Men’s support group walking for Carer Support South Lakes because we want to raise awareness of unpaid male Carers

Keswick to Kendal (K2K)

My name is Stuart Graves and the seeds of this ‘Keswick to Kendal walk’ were sown last spring, just before the first lockdown. During a day out to Keswick, I started thinking about a fundraising walk to raise awareness around unpaid Carers, and male Carers in particular.

The idea grew, and now after studying various maps and with my own local knowledge, the concept of the K2K has taken shape. It is a great route to walk, with its scenery, fells, lakes and rivers and of course our fantastic weather! Not only that, it is also a great reason to bring some of our male Carers together for the first time in many months.

It has been a real battle for so many unpaid Carers, struggling to look after their Cared For on their own for months on end with no opportunity for respite. The men who will join me in this K2K will be walking to acknowledge that struggle and to help make others more aware.

Carer Support South Lakes (CSSL) supports over 1,200 unpaid Carers of all ages- men and women, boys and girls who look after a loved one, often fulltime, without payment. Their role is vital to the health and wellbeing of their Cared For but more often than not, it goes completely unseen.

CSSL supports my role as a full-time unpaid male Carer. I have been fortunate in being able to volunteer for the charity and lead their Men’s Support Group.

The date for this event is the 5th June 2021. It is on the Saturday between National Volunteers Week and National Carers Week. The timing is apt as I am both a Volunteer with CSSL and registered with them as an unpaid Carer.

We have six other male Carers taking part on the day – Chris Amos, Kevin Archer, Ian Croskell, Leon Gold, Peter Murdoch and Don Sillars. Those that can, will walk the whole distance and those that can’t, will make up a relay team. This way we can involve as many as wish to take part and create a real sense of camaraderie and purpose.

Our spirits have been immediately bolstered by a very generous donation from the Windermere & Ambleside Lions Club and we are very grateful to them for getting us off to a flying start.

Donations can be made through the Just Giving website. Any donation you make towards our efforts will also be very gratefully received – thank you!