Over 180 traders throughout Bristol are offering a Christmas discount to carers – including hairdressers, restaurants and a wide range of retailers and professional services

Anyone who is a registered carer in Bristol, carrying a Carers Emergency Card, will be able to access an amazing variety of discounts this Christmas – and all year round – thanks to a new scheme from charity Carers Support Centre.

Caring can be incredibly challenging, often involving looking after friends or family who are physically or mentally ill, or otherwise unable to fully look after themselves. For 1 in 3 local carers, this means providing unpaid support for more than 20 hours every week – often leading to ill health, low income and depression.

As well as offering invaluable support, carers contribute enormously to the local community and economy, prompting many traders to get involved and say thank you. Bristol businesses who have chosen to take part and offer discounts include Pieminister, Art at Bristol, Big Juice and Norville Opticians.

“It’s lovely to know that so many traders have opted in – it’s great for the local community” – local carer Amy Flood

What is the Carers Emergency Card?

The Carers Emergency Card is carried by over 4,500 carers in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, in case they have an accident or emergency. This totally free service ensures the person they look after gets vital help through a local authority, ensuring their safety. For carers who carry the card, it gives great peace of mind.

The card is promoted by Carers Support Centre, a charity which provides services for carers of all ages in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. This includes a confidential telephone support line, carers emergency card, one-to-one support and carer’s groups, activities for carers to take some time out, short breaks and training.

Getting your business involved

Businesses and traders hoping to get in the spirit can offer discounts to carers by linking up with Carers Support Centre. Over 150 local traders already offer discounts on days out, relaxation, therapies, retail and eating out.

Keith Sinclair, Chief Executive of Carers Support Centre, said “we are inviting businesses to support carers and show they are ‘carer-friendly’ by joining the Carers Emergency Card Benefits Scheme.

“Caring is an issue that touches many people. Locally, 2 out of 5 people will become carers at some time in their lives. There are 68,000 carers in Bristol and South Gloucestershire and the time and care they give saves local health and social care services a staggering £1.19 billion every year.”

Craftisan art and crafts supply shop and café on Wells Road have joined the scheme. “At Craftisan we like to get everyone involved in having fun and being creative,” says owner Emily. “We’re located in a great community and would give a warm welcome to carers. We provide a space for people to relax and get crafty.”

Kingfisher Café in Fishponds are also getting involved: “supporting the Carers Emergency Card Benefits Scheme is our way of saying thank you to carers for all that they do,” says co-owner Jane Rose.

Amy Flood is a carer who looks after her disabled son. “Having a Carers Emergency card has offered me real peace of mind, and these additional new discounts are a wonderful idea,” she says. “It’s lovely to know that so many traders have opted in … it’s great for the local community, and being part of the scheme will hopefully see businesses benefit from some extra trade, too!”

For a full list of participating businesses click here. Follow the hashtag on twitter: #cecbenefitsscheme