A TEAM that supports Halton’s unsung heroes has been saved, thanks to the Lotto.

Halton Carers Centre in Church Street, Runcorn, has received £252,339 from the Big Lottery Fund.

This grant, match funded by Halton Council, secures the future of this service for two years.

Manager Carl Harris, aged 43, said: “It’s come at just the right time. Without it, we would only have had a one year contract.”

The money secures 10 jobs and creates a new post for a voluntary co-ordinator to encourage more people to get involved.

Carl said: “The 2001 census revealed there are 13,500 carers in Halton so there must be even more now. We have more than 4,000 carers registered with us.

“There are a lot of hidden carers looking after their mums, dads, brothers, sisters, or friends.

“It can be a very difficult, stressful job. A lot of carers want to go out to work but can’t due to restrictions.

“We provide information, support and advice to help them in their caring role.

“We also have 420 young carers who look after their parents.”

The centre receives funding from Halton’s health chiefs to provide respite breaks and treats.

Carers can apply for free holistic complimentary therapies, such as, a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure.

Training on subjects such as IT, caring with confidence, flower arrranging and first aid, is available.

Grants towards driving lessons, laptops and decorating can be awarded.

Free trips for carers and their loved ones, include shopping, theatre visits, barge trips or family outings to the zoo.

Carl said: “It is an enjoyable, rewarding job. The staff love it. We love working with people.

“Carers can pop in anytime for a chat and a cup of coffee.

“We want them to know they are not on their own.”