STAFF at a Darlington food store will this week launch their fundraising efforts for the coming year.

The Co-operative, in Fulthorpe Avenue, is raising money for the Carers Trust in 2013.

To mark the launch on Thursday (January 24), staff are developing a ‘rock around the clock’ theme to acknowledge the challenges faced by the estimated 500,000 young people across the UK who care for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.

The charity - which formed last year when The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care came together - will benefit from Co-operative staff, members and customers raising much-needed money to tackle feelings of isolation and provide desperately needed breaks, information, advice and support for 14 to 25 year-olds facing the challenges of caring.

Marie Welsh, manager of the Darlington store, said: “The challenge of unpaid caring is an often hidden issue, even though it can affect most families at some time.

“We’re delighted that Carers Trust is our Charity of the Year and, that we have the chance to make a difference to the lives of young people in our communities who undertake practical and emotional caring responsibilities for a family member or friend who cannot cope without their support.”

There are an estimated seven million unpaid carers across the UK including an estimated 11,000 in Darlington.

This year, The Co-operative’s 100,000 staff aim to raise £5m to transform the lives of the UK’s unpaid young adult carers.

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