AN anonymous donation of £5,000 has given The Westmorland Gazette's Give Them a Break campaign a big boost.

The appeal aims to raise £20,000 to give people who voluntarily care for a loved-one, relative or friend much-needed respite. This could be a one-night dinner, a bed and breakfast stay at a Lake District hotel, a day activity, such as a spa break, an outdoor adventure trip or a day’s walking up a fell with a guide.

The appeal also seeks to raise awareness of the work of the charity South Lakeland Carers (SLC), which provides practical and emotional support and advice for around 1,250 unpaid carers across the area. So far, the campaign has managed to raise more than £8,000.

A spokeswoman from SLC expressed "huge thanks" for the generous donations already received.

"Without this appeal and raising awareness of the role unpaid carers play in our community, the carers' ‘voice’ would remain hidden," she said. "Carers not only reduce demand on health and social care systems but they often do so with little (if any) support and often to the detriment of their own social, physical, emotional and financial wellbeing.

"South Lakeland Carers focus on the needs of the carer, regardless of their age, and understands and addresses the impact of the caring role."

Meanwhile, a couple who own a bed and breakfast in South Lakeland are also backing the Give Them a Break campaign by donating a room for free.

Tony and Caroline Hill, from Burneside, offer accommodation for walkers on the Dales Way.

"We meet people from all walks of life," said Mr Hill. "We try and accommodate our guests' needs and make them feel at home."

Mr Hill, a retired Lake District National Park Authority ranger, and his wife, a South Lakeland district nurse, have been meaning to donate one of their rooms to a charitable cause. It wasn't until they saw the appeal in the Gazette that they thought this was the perfect scheme for them.

"We just want to provide a helping hand and show our guests a part of the Lake District they might not necessarily see otherwise," said Mr Hill.

The couple are offering a large and comfortable twin en-suite room on the ground floor with a free 'taxi service' at their guest house called Lakeland Hills.

"We know that there is a great need for people who are carers to have a break," said Mr Hill. "If this is one way we can help and provide someone just a small break then why not.

"If every hotelier, guest house or bed and breakfast just offered a couple of nights for free to carers we could do something really fantastic. You get the chance to do something really special and it doesn't require a great deal of set up, does it?"

To donate to the Give Them a Break campaign, complete the coupon and return it to Mike Addison, Give Them a Break, The Westmorland Gazette, 1 Wainwright's Yard, Kendal, LA9 4DP. Please make cheques payable to 'Give Them A Break.' You can also visit