The Ark Trust received a £5,000 grant for SIGNAL4Carers to allow unpaid carers respite from their duties. SIGNAL provides free Support, Information, Guidance, Networking, Advice and Learning to all unpaid carers who care for someone in Bracknell Forest, Windsor, Ascot or Maidenhead.

A carer is someone who provides unpaid help and support to family or friends. You could be caring for a partner, child, relative, friend or a neighbour who is ill, frail, disabled or who has mental health or substance misuse problems; anyone can become a carer at any age.

The carers could apply for grants of up to £300 to be spent how they felt best to achieve a break and have time for themselves. So far 14 people have received grants. Some have taken a short break whilst others have booked a regular activity.

“The first few days of our break were spent visiting family in Devon. My wife stayed with them while I went sea fishing. I also managed to have a couple of breakfasts at a local bistro. These are things I don’t get to do normally so it was very relaxing. 


The second part of our break was spent with friends in Looe at a holiday park. Again my friend’s wife stayed with my wife while I played snooker and fished in the local lake. This whole break has given me a chance to do things I don’t normally get to do and relax safe in the knowledge that my wife is safe and I can do my caring duties when needed.”


“I have one child with a life limiting genetic condition and another with ASD, my middle child who is well goes without days out and trips due to my caring responsibilities, I can now take him out for the day and have quality time.


I cannot thank you enough for what you have done, this small thing will change our quality of life.


I am totally shattered! I moved in with my Father as his carer 4 years ago, his care needs have increased over time, in the last 3 months he has been in Hospital 5 times my life has not been my life during this time.


This will give me an opportunity to find myself again, to have some much needed ‘me’ time, it has put a smile on my face, it makes me feel that someone actually cares about me.


It often feels no one cares about the carer.  Thank you so much.”