Actors Dame Judi Dench and Rory Kinnear join forces with Revitalise to highlight desperation of unpaid carers

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8th December 2020

Actors Dame Judi Dench and Rory Kinnear join forces with Revitalise to highlight desperation of unpaid carers

Stars of stage and screen support charity in exposing pressures facing unpaid carers, who are at breaking point despite easing of lockdown

British actors Dame Judi Dench and Rory Kinnear have joined forces with national charity Revitalise to shine a light on the terrible struggles facing Britain’s home carers right now. Whilst the rest of the country enjoyed relative freedom this weekend with the lifting of the second lockdown, nothing has changed for Britain’s carers, who are on their knees after nine months of isolation. They have seen their care support abolished and access to vital respite care prohibited, with no end in sight.

Speaking of the sheer desperation for respite care right now, Dame Judi Dench said:

This need is more important than ever. I am wholeheartedly joining with Revitalise to launch an urgent fundraising appeal, #CareForCarers, to raise £1 million directly to help carers and disabled people get the break they desperately need, and so deserve.

Pressures on unpaid home carers have become intolerable since lockdown due to the emergency Coronavirus Act allowing Local Authorities to axe their duty of care responsibilities towards the disabled and the elderly.

Actor Rory Kinnear appears in a new video imploring the Government to restore vital emergency respite care, after 14-day isolation guidelines were imposed for anybody entering a care setting, effectively ending any hope for respite care.


Rory Kinnear said:

“Throughout the pandemic, Revitalise has been the voice of home carers. We have heard their stories and feel their desperation. We speak as one, as we implore Government to change its 14-day isolation rules, so that emergency respite care is available, immediately, for those who need it.”

Revitalise have been providing respite care breaks – a vital lifeline to so many unpaid home carers and their disabled loved ones – for over 57 years. The charity are hoping to raise £1 million as part of their Care for Carers campaign to support carers and their loved ones to access respite care breaks following the difficulties of lockdown.

Revitalise CEO Jan Tregelles said:

“We are very grateful to Dame Judi Dench and Rory Kinnear for supporting our fundraising campaign and speaking out for the people who are struggling. The mental health of so many home carers is hanging by a thread whilst emergency respite care remains prohibited.

“It’s time for the political rhetoric on caring for carers to become a reality. The recommendation of the Social Care Covid Taskforce, to enable vital respite care without delay, must be implemented. The voices of exhausted home carers must be heard.”

Rory Kinnear also said:

“It’s time for the Government to accept that opening up short term respite breaks, which Revitalise and many others provide, is vital. It’s time for them to care for carers”.

Revitalise’s campaign has significant personal meaning to Kinnear, whose sister needed care throughout her life following a lack of oxygen at birth and tragically died in May 2020.

There are an estimated 13.6 million unpaid carers in the UK today, of which 4.5 million became carers since the pandemic began. One carer, Hilary, has been looking after her disabled son Shaun for 15 years following an accident during a holiday in Ibiza. Hilary has faced enormous challenges since the start of the pandemic.


Carer Hilary said:

“I try to keep myself calm, and tell myself I know I’m not the only one struggling like this, but I just can’t physically do it. It’s a desperate thing, we both just urgently need a break.”

I’m never, ever, going to give up on my son. Life is too short you know; you need to keep fighting.”


Another carer, Tracy, cares for Conor, her son. She said:

“I am just drained physically. It’s a terrible feeling waking up and being tired. I’d like to see the Government live in my shoes for a week”.


Research just released from Carers UK estimates that to date, carers have provided a staggering £135 billion worth of care to loved ones during the pandemic, equating to £530 million a day.


To show your support for the Revitalise #CareForCarers campaign and help us Raise a Million to subsidise care breaks, please donate here.  

1 Comment

  • Ramesh Chiplonkar says:

    I greatly applaud and appreciate the efforts and support of Dame Judi Dench and Rory Kinnear. I have been disabled for many years with mobility problems and nowadays totally wheelchair bound. I an 86 and my wife is 84, My wife has cared for me for the last more than 15 years. She has been refused any carer,s allowance because she draws her pension and therefore not entitled for any allowance. I do not know about any change in the law if any. Would Revitalise#Care For Carers be of any help in this matter.
    Thanking you,
    Yours sincerely
    Ramesh Chiplonkar

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