A new fund of over £1m to help Wales’ unpaid carers cope with the financial pressures of COVID-19 has been announced today [Tuesday 20] by the Deputy Health Minister.
Open to carers across Wales, the Carers Support Fund will see grants of up to £300 made available for a range of essentials, including; food, household items such as furniture or white goods, or electronics such as a laptop for access to support and services.
There are around 55,300 people in Wales who receive a carer’s allowance and recent research suggests that almost 40% of carers are worried about their financial situation.
Today also marks the launch of a public consultation on a new national plan for carers, setting out how Welsh Government’s proposes to work with a range of partners to strengthen its priorities to better reflect every aspect of a carers’ life.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, said:
We are immensely grateful to Wales’ huge army of dedicated unpaid carers who have done so much to look after others during the pandemic.
We have seen unpaid carers working longer hours and the pandemic has made it more difficult for carers to cope with their caring role and live the life they choose. Some are struggling to cope with the extra costs caused by Covid-19 and the aim of the Carers Support Fund is to help alleviate some of this additional, unnecessary pressure.
I look forward to talking to carers and their representatives as part of our consultation on a new national plan. I urge anyone connected to caring to submit their thoughts.
The funding support will be provided through Carers Trust Wales who have been working throughout the pandemic to support unpaid carers.
Simon Hatch, Director of Carers Trust Wales, said:
Today’s funding announcement is an important step towards recognising and addressing the very real and growing pressures facing thousands of unpaid carers across Wales.
For many carers, the pandemic has had a significant and negative impact on their health, wellbeing and financial security. As we approach what is likely to be a very challenging winter for health and social services, our communities and people across Wales, we are delighted that Carers Trust Wales and our Network Partners are able to act swiftly to get these essential grants to those most in need.
We welcome Welsh Government’s investment to support carers experiencing financial hardship and look forward to working with them to ensure all carers get the recognition they deserve and the support they need.
The Carers Support Fund will be available up to 31 March 2021 and more information will soon be available about how to apply on carers.org/wales