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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 27 March 2006

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THE UK'S ARMY OF 2.3 MILLION UNPAID CARERS

APPROXIMATELY 2.3 million unpaid carers have given up the option of paid work to look after families and the home. But Lincoln warns households that rely on the unpaid work to tide them over are taking massive financial risks. 

Women account for the vast majority of the people classed as "economically inactive" while they are looking after families or homes but as more and more women return to paid work, the number of men staying at home with children or families is rising, currently around 200,000.

The 2.1 million women and 200,000 men might be classed as "economically inactive", but the work they do would be financially difficult to replace. Average childcare costs are estimated at £7,300 per child by the Daycare Trust while nursing home care for OAPs can be as much as £455 a week, according to healthcare experts Laing & Buisson.  On the assumption that 2.3 million were paid the average national wage of £24,000 before tax they would be earning as much as £55.2 billion. And Lincoln Financial believes more families need to think about how they would pay for their unpaid help if they did not have family members to rely on.

Ian Noble, head of strategic partnerships at Lincoln commented:- "The "economically inactive" might not receive any pay for their work but they make a massive contribution to the economy. Childcare and care for the elderly are expensive and these people are doing important jobs.  Housewives, househusbands and other family members giving up work to look after the house or relatives deserve recognition for their work.  Families need to think long and hard about how they would cope if the person staying at home could no longer do their unpaid work."

Lincoln Financial offers cover for homemakers as part of its Financial Foundations product which is a specialist multi-benefit protection product, providing whole of life cover in one place under one wrapper.

It allows IFAs to provide their clients with a flexible approach to protection planning; clients can add or remove from the product menu, amounts can be increased or decreased at any time with no additional charge, premiums can be set up on a minimum or a standard basis, and cover plans can be pre-funded or targeted to last for a specific term.

The product menu plan consists of life cover, critical illness cover, permanent disability cover, elderly care cover, income protection cover and waiver of premium. Financial Foundations can also offer clients an inheritance tax planning solution. It includes cover for home makers as well as those in paid employment.

For more information on Financial Foundations visit www.lincoln-ifa.co.uk or call 0845 075 3535.

Young people at Bebington High Sports College are Living For Sport

YOUNG people at Bebington High Sports College in Bebington, Wirral, are to be inspired and motivated by sport as part of an initiative run by the Youth Sport Trust and BSkyB. Bebington is one of more than 500 schools across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland expected to take part in this groundbreaking project to motivate young people through sport.

Living For Sport targets young people in danger of opting out of school life, and has now reached over 300 secondary schools. Teachers involved have seen a huge difference being made to their students’ lives, with 57 percent reporting improved attitudes to learning.

Launched 2 years ago, Living For Sport develops the life skills of young people aged 11 to 16 through sport. Schools involved receive a comprehensive package of support including training for staff, resources for pupils, funding for activities and access to a prestigious awards programme.

A recent independent evaluation of the initiative highlights that students involved show improved behaviour, more self-confidence and better relationships with teachers and other students, and are attending school more regularly. Individual schools reported fewer students getting into trouble, and more arriving on time.

Ben Stimson, Director of Corporate Responsibility at BSkyB says:- “Living For Sport has achieved some impressive results across the country so far, and we are very pleased that Bebington High Sports College has joined in. We are delighted to be supporting the excellent work of the Youth Sport Trust in running the initiative, as part of our wider commitment to inspiring young people about their futures across the UK.”

Sue Campbell, Chair of the Youth Sport Trust, says:- “We are delighted that Bebington High Sports College has signed up to Living For Sport. The initiative is going from strength to strength and is successfully engaging young people who might otherwise have been disinterested in school. We wish all the young people taking part in Living For Sport at Bebington every success.”

For further information please visit:- youthsporttrust.org.

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