We’re pleased to name The Leonardo Trust as our Community Heroes in the Spotlight for November 2022.

The small charity, which started in 2001 and has the motto ‘Helping people who care for others’, now has four staff members and supports unpaid carers throughout Dorset. With November 24th being Carers Rights Day, we wanted to  highlight their wonderful work.

During Covid-19 lockdowns, The Leonardo Trust operated a helpline for carers and supported more than 1,000 carers with small crisis grants. They also distributed over 1,500 meals to older people and more than 600 care packs to carers.

Donna Blanche, Manager of The Leonardo Trust, said: “Being an unpaid carer is hard work and can impact upon other areas of a carer’s life such as work, relationships, finances and social life.”

This is why The Leonardo Trust continues to provide a wide range of support, including:

Grants for individuals – providing funding for respite breaks, home services and improvements, tuition fees, domestic appliances, social and leisure activities, coach trips and days out.

Grants for Groups – supporting any carers group in Dorset in need of funding. This can be an existing group or a new group aiming to start a fresh project.

Counselling 4 Carers – Counselling is a chance for a carer to focus on themselves and to think about their own needs. The charity can fund a course of counselling to support a carer’s wellbeing.

Time Out For You – providing a holiday home and short break for carers with or without the person they care for.

Oakley Friends – a monthly support group for carers, as well as a twice-yearly carers information course featuring 10 key topics to help make caring easier.

Home Alertlines 4 Carers – working in partnership with Connected Living, they offer free installation and the first two months free of charge for the ‘At Home’ package.

Telephone Groups 4 Carers – a new, fun way to connect with other carers. The groups are held on the phone.

If Only I’d Known That Booklet – written by a carer and adapted by The Leonardo Trust. To date, 10,000 copies have been distributed to carers.

Hannah Rees, Engagement Lead for CAN, said: “The work of The Leonardo Trust is so heart-warming and so needed. There are many unpaid carers who may feel isolated in their role and yet there is a great deal of local support on offer. That’s why CAN has selected The Leonardo Trust to showcase the service they provide. If we can connect carers with the hope and support needed, and offer time for them and their needs, then it will improve their wellbeing immeasurably.”

You can find out more about The Leonardo Trust here