On Sunday 18th June Matt Barker ran the Jane Tomlinson Hull 10k Run For All, to raise funds for the Hull-based charity, Inspire Communities. This was the fifth time Matt ran for Inspire, and this year they focussed their work on supporting their Caring for Carers project.


Inspire Communities is an award-winning charity and company that exists to support any member of the community.
Inspire offers help to people suffering crisis, isolation and poor physical or mental health. They help to resolve immediate crises, then move forward with a renewed sense of purpose. This is done by including them in activities that will motivate them and feel a part of something, and new friends to engage with. The initial support to resolve personal issues and subsequent social inclusion activities improves both the physical and emotional well-being of our service users.
They are able to help any person from any demographic, and have a wide range of activities available to support them.
Their aim is always to make a person’s life better, and do this in a number of ways.
Some people may want only one intervention, such as a piece of advice, some support with a job application, or some advocacy when encountering problems with a third party.
Other people will stay with Inspire for much longer, because they are isolated, and benefit from the long term social activities we provide as well as the initial problem resolution.


Social recovery
  • Crisis management
  • Problem resolution
  • Advocacy and representation
  • Social inclusion groups

Therapeutic recovery
  • Community gardening in schools, private properties, allotments and community spaces – gardening is widely regarded as being a therapeutic activity. It also has physical health benefits, and when working in teams has social benefits
  • Counselling, Emotional Freedom Technique therapy, and alternative therapies to aid people’s recovery to better emotional well-being

Financial recovery
  • One to one advice and support around personal budgeting, smarter shopping techniques, energy conservation and utility management, debt advice
  • Finance workshops in partnership with Citizen’s Advice Bureau
  • Provision of food parcels
  • Business start up advice
  • Employability advice and guidance – job club, CV writing, letter writing, interview skills etc.
  • Access to I.T. – delivery of basic I.T. skills to people for social, financial, health, learning and employment related goals

Improved health and well-being
  • Interactive health and well-being delivery around cooking, growing food, nutrition, healthier eating, fitness and finance
  • Digital health delivery - helping people to find online information on conditions, healthier lifestyles and local services
  • Assistance to access GP services online, including booking of appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions, and access to medication records.

We receive referrals from a number of organisations across the city. Below is a list of some of those partners, and the demographics of people that they themselves support:
  • Jobcentre – people suffering long term unemployed and learning disability
  • Mencap – people suffering learning disability
  • Carers Information Support Centre – isolated carers and their cared for
  • Hull HARP, Humbercare,  Hull Homeless Outreach, English Churches Housing Group, and various soup kitchens – people suffering homelessness and poverty
  • Humber All Nations Alliance – ethnic minority individuals in need of support
  • GP surgeries – social prescribing of patients suffering from long term conditions, particularly those suffering poor mental health
Outreach work
We currently provide Basic I.T. Skills learning services to the community in a wide range of outreach posts. We teach people everything from the very basics, such as learning how to use a keyboard and mouse for the first time, to showing people how to search for employment, access local services and online health services, right through to learning how to create finance spreadsheets for budgeting and doing your own online banking.
Partnership working
The number of partners we work with in the public and community sectors is growing on a monthly basis, and we always welcome more. It increases our reach and enables us to help more people, and together we complement and enhance each other’s services for the good of the community.


Inspire's Caring for Carers project improves the wellbeing, relationships and lives of carers and the people they care for, to help them both move forward with a more positive outlook and a healthier life. The project has two objectives:

  1. To provide a range of activities and support services for people who are desperately isolated and suffering from poor physical, emotional and financial hardship due to their caring role.
  1. To change the way that the cared for are treated as a means to giving respite to their carers, finding potential in the cared for and giving them a sense of purpose rather than simply being looked after.

Being a carer for a friend or loved one can be a very difficult and isolated life. The more emotionally distressed a person becomes, the more likely it is that they will become ill themselves, and unable to carry on their role, which can result in the person they support going into other care facilities where they are uncomfortable and unhappy.

Our project helps to avoid this by improving the physical and emotional wellbeing of carers, making life better by introducing new friends and providing activities to enjoy every week.

Some carers in our carers groups suffer from learning disability and poor mental health, who in turn are supporting people with disabilities, learning disabilities and illnesses such as dementia.

Inspire Communities activities to help them include coffee mornings, yoga and meditation, drama classes for confidence building and fun, excursions, museums and gallery visits, games, arts and crafts, learning sessions, guest speakers and more. We also offer lots of opportunities for the carer and cared to volunteer with Inspire, to gain new focus, purpose and respite. Activities can be done separately or together, plus there is also the option for carers to take some time away doing other things while we provide activities for the cared person.

Donations from the Hull 10k will help to pay for these activities to happen by paying for the equipment, materials and sessional workers that provide all of the wonderful services to us.