A CHARITY that supports unpaid carers in South Lakeland officially opened its new premises in Kendal on Tuesday.

Carer Support South Lakes moved to 7, Wainwright’s Yard, Kendal, last July but due to the pandemic was unable to use the hub ‘to its full potential’ according to CEO Mike Seaton.

It is hoped the new hub will offer a more ‘accessible’ and 'friendly' point for people to access the support and help they need.

The charity currently supports around 1,350 unpaid carers- from carers as young as six to those in their 80s- but estimates there are more than 12,000 in the South Lakes area.

“The most important thing for us is to be on this walkway so that people can access us straight through the door,” said Mr Seaton.

“If we’re not able to help them we can refer them to the agencies that can.”

The opening ceremony saw volunteers, service users and several dignitaries from the county attending, including the mayor of Kendal, Doug Rathbone, Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Claire Hensman, and the High Sheriff of Cumbria, David Beeby.

Opening the ceremony Mr Seaton paid tribute to all of the country’s unpaid carers, highlighting the added pressures experienced by them during the pandemic and spoke of his hopes for the hub.

“We are here to support carers of all ages, no matter their circumstances,” he said.

“We hope the hub will make us more accessible.”

Mayor Cllr Doug Rathbone shared his own experience of seeking help as a carer and wished 'the very very best to the hub'.

Also present was the charity’s newly appointed patron, BBC Radio 4 broadcaster, Caz Graham.

And Stuart Graves, who cares for his wife, also attended following his fundraising Keswick to Kendal walk with six other carers for the charity.