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Our Story

Why We "Care For Carers"

OUR STORY AND WHY

The Carers Foundation Australia has its origins over 15 years ago when Ronnie and Michael Benbow began hosting Carer Retreats for unpaid family Carers.

Founding Director, Ronnie Benbow, had a burning passion for over a decade to provide a healing, nurturing center to rejuvenate and educate family carers experiencing extreme stress and exhaustion.

Being a Registered Nurse with a Degree in Health Science and having a professional background in health care and personal caring circumstances, Ronnie knows professionally and personally the relentless demands and debilitating stress that family carers endure daily.

Besides many years of being a nurse and working in the community, Ronnie has also personally cared for her husband, Michael, who had a near-fatal accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down, one of her four sons who had a debilitating medical condition and her elderly parents, of which she cared for her beloved father until he passed away.

For the past 15 years, together with her husband Michael (formerly in Business Management), they decided to combine their professional skills and use their retreat facility to privately fund and offer respite and support for carers in crisis.

Ronnie and Michael would see Carers arrive who were stressed, exhausted, almost broken, and riddled with guilt for taking time out. They soon realised there was nowhere for them to go when they were at breaking point.

They saw hundreds of carers leave feeling empowered, having a completely new perspective on their situation, more resilient, and had a sense of hope knowing that if there was a continued struggle at home, they could come back another time.

The most rewarding outcome was to see carers meet others in similar situations enabling them to share problems and find new solutions, plus make new lifelong friends with people who completely understood what it’s like in their situation, which helps alleviate Social Isolation often associated with caring.

After seeing the significant difference these programs made, they were inspired to formally establish and incorporate the charity in 2015. Since then Ronnie has worked tirelessly to raise funds and awareness so carers can attend these life-changing wellbeing programs.

Ronnie began the battle to seek external funding so they could scale the impact of their unique well-being programs, acutely aware of how so many more carers needed support.

The purpose of these programs is to prevent health crisis breakdowns in unpaid family carers and allow them to restore their own well-being and recover from the impact of caring.

In 2017, The Carers Foundation Australia received its first government grant to provide Wellness programs to Carers.
This was backed up by a three-year Flagship Partnership with The Coca-Cola Australia Foundation – to provide wellness programs to Young Carers. Current funding sources include Donations, Grants, and active fundraising events.

The Carers Foundation is a registered DGR1 Health and Education Promotion Charity with full tax deductibility.

The Foundation is led by the Founding Director, a Board, and active Ambassadors, plus are supported by a qualified team of professional therapists, counsellors, and dedicated volunteers. All members have to have Caring experience or have been Carers to be eligible to join the Foundation team.

Even though they are currently a small charity in size, they are big in impact and outcomes.

 

“Our programs are Lifechanging and Lifesaving”

 

WE ARE REAL PEOPLE PROVIDING REAL SUPPORT

Our programs are available at no cost to eligible unpaid carers, and we are passionate about younger carers from the age of 13 who DO NOT have a choice to be a carer. These young people care for their parents or disabled siblings with medical or mental health issues and sacrifice their teenage years to do so.