History of the two organisations


Crossroads Care was set up as a charity in 1974 and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers was founded in 1991. Both organisations became leaders in their respective fields, sharing a vision that carers should be supported and recognised as valuable citizens and treated with respect and dignity.

In 1973, the soap opera “Crossroads” featured a storyline where the son of the motel owner had a car accident and Crossroadswas paralysed. His mother had to care for him at home.

Noel Crane, a local man from Rugby, who was being cared for by his mother saw the programme and wrote in, complimenting ATV, the programme makers, on their portrayal of the needs of someone with a disability. They took him on as an adviser on disability issues and shared his concerns about the lack of support for people like his mother, whose life had undergone significant change as a result of his accident.

ATV then donated £10,000 to set up a pilot project in Rugby with the aim of helping carers in a practical way, in order to relieve the stress the majority of them experience.

In its first year of operation, more than 36 years ago, Crossroads supported 26 families. By 2012 Crossroads Care was supporting over 43,000 carers and their families through a national network of local Crossroads Care Schemes.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers was created on the initiative of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal in 1991. At that time people caring at home for family members or friends with disabilities and chronic illnesses were still scarcely recognised as requiring support.

In 1987 HRH The Princess Royal had been given her title ‘The Princess Royal’ by The Queen and wanted to lend it to a charity. When HRH The Princess Royal  was out doing her public duties she came across many people with HRH The Princess Royal inauguratingdisabilities who were receiving a lot of support from charities such as Mencap, however there was little or nothing in the way of services for carers other than respite. Carers, she was to soon discover, wanted recognition, a listening ear and to have access to support locally. This all led to the creation of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in 1991 which set out to establish a network of carers’ centres that provided advice and support. The first centre opened up in Banbury and The Trust continued to grow year on year. 
For over 20 years The Princess Royal Trust for Carers has been fighting to provide carers with the support they so desperately need, growing into a unique network of 144 independently-managed Carers Centres, 89 young carers' services and interactive websites. It became the largest provider of carers support services in the UK, giving practical advice, information and support. It also supports more young carers than any organisation in the world, reaching more than half of all young carers supported in the UK.
The two organisations have a long history of working together with joint posts between them and successful campaigns, research and reports, worked on together. When The Trust was first established in 1991, Pat Wallace, then CEO of Crossroads Care, was on the steering group which set it up.