A charity helping carers across Dudley is hoping to give itself – and an iconic Stourbridge building – a new lease of life after lockdown.

We Love Carers took over the Mary Stevens Centre, just behind the hospice, in September 2019 with hopes of expanding its services to the hundreds of unpaid carers dotted across the borough.

A bit of tender loving care would make the centre a perfect place for carers to meet and take advantage of support on offer from the charity.

And then the pandemic hit and 2020 has seen the charity lose about £50,000 in income and left it trying to help even more isolated carers with online sessions.

But now the hope is that it can emerge in September when life gets a bit more back to normal with a refurbished building that can put the charity on a new footing.

It has now launched an appeal to raise £5,000 to pay for improvement work and decoration to create a host of welcoming features, including newly-fitted out kitchen, training and meeting room, therapy room, sensory room, and a lounge.

The charity supports carers of all ages, most of them looking after a family member in their own home.

It also has the biggest play scheme for children with disabilities in the area.

Rachael Gardener says they charity supports about 500 carers across the area and believes they have become forgotten during the pandemic.

Single parents caring for someone have been especially isolated, she feels.

They have seen an increased deamdn for their help and she says: “If the carers aren’t looked after, then who looks after the people they care for?”

The charity is hoping that they can use the lockdown to get the building fit for purpose, offering coffee mornings, craft sessions, therapy groups, Nordic wealking in the nearby park, or simple socializing – all helping to dispel feelings of isolation.

To help go to the fundraising page at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/welovecarers-centre-renovation-project?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1&fbclid=IwAR3SBnEtSZctJ4sn9q4DhyWR916CWeZTyMUB5FbCKPVIHUYxoDJPgG-xISU