On Carers’ Rights Day Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan has outlined how £7m Welsh Government funding will support unpaid carers in recognition of the vital support they provide to the people they care for.
The support package will allocate £5.5 million to local authorities to provide targeted support to unpaid carers; £1.25m for the Carers Support Fund - last year, this fund successfully helped almost 6500 unpaid carers to cope with the financial impact of COVID-19; £20,000 to fund online mental wellbeing support sessions; and £230,000 for the Family Fund to support over 600 further low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children.
Welsh Government previously committed £3 million in 2021-22 to allow more carers to take a break from their caring role, bringing the total additional funding support for unpaid carers this year to £10 million.
Examples of how this money has been spent to date include:
- £5,000 to fund the creation of a Respitality scheme in Gwynedd to work with the holiday sector to offer cheaper holidays to unpaid carers
- £10,000 to fund the remodelling of day care for older people in Gwynedd which includes paying for flexible short care packages for carers and the individuals they support
- £20,000 to fund a 6 week programme of wellbeing counselling to help support carers with personal stresses and anxieties in Conwy
- £40,000 to fund Carers’ Outreach in Conwy to provide breaks, days out, weekends away in Conwy for carers over 18
- £32,000 to run a pilot scheme for parent carers to choose practical support which meets their needs in Swansea.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services said:
The physical and emotional impact of caring can be overwhelming. We share concerns that many are at breaking point due to the additional pressures put upon them from the pandemic. Thousands of unpaid carers have been supported since the start of the pandemic but it its vital we continue to help unpaid carers cope with the emotional and financial impact of COVID-19.
The funding announced today shows how much we appreciate the army of unpaid carers in Wales who have gone above and beyond to care for family or friends and our commitment to support carers to have a life beyond their caring role.
Unpaid carers play a vital role in our society, helping reduce pressures on the health service by ensuring people can return from and stay out of hospital. Their extraordinary work and contribution to social care is part of a £42m package to support the NHS winter plan.
An unpaid carer attending a dementia support group in Gwynedd commented:
The Dementia Carers Group has provided me with companionship, moral support when feeling a bit lost whilst looking after my husband who has mixed dementia. I have made friends through the meetings, have improved my qualities as a carer, with practical advice received, not only from other carers, but the amazing guest speakers who have guided us all with their knowledgeable advice on all practical matters relevant to being a carer. Tuesday mornings are a lot less lonely since I joined the group.