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Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services

First published:
5 June 2023
Last updated:

At the start of Carers Week, I want to give my personal and heartfelt thanks to all unpaid carers in Wales. Whether you provide care for just a couple of hours, or it is your full-time responsibility, thank you.

The theme for this year is “recognising carers in the community.”  Everyone can play a positive role in supporting unpaid carers, not just family and friends but employers, GPs and hospitals, social services, schools and colleges, local businesses and charities.

The Welsh Government funds the Carer Aware Project and through partnership between Carers Wales and Carers Trust Wales, we will equip health and social care professionals to be more carer aware and to take a co-productive approach to service design and delivery.

Part of our work to support carers must be to understand that many carers need to take a break from their caring responsibilities and recharge by doing something they enjoy and supports their own mental health and wellbeing. In April 2022, and to deliver a key Programme for Government commitment, I announced that unpaid carers of all ages in Wales would be benefitting from £9 million over three years to set up a new Short Breaks Fund. A new strand of this funding, “Amser,” is now available and sees Carers Trust Wales working with third sector organisations to increase the number and type of short breaks a carer can access.

I am delighted that through our work with Carers Trust Wales that we now have more short breaks in place for adult and young carers, offered by third sector organisations. Wales has a vibrant and agile third sector of charities, voluntary groups, community groups and social enterprises therefore delivering this strand of the scheme in collaboration with the third sector will help to embed innovative approaches across Wales.

I remain acutely aware that the cost-of-living crisis continues, and the Welsh Government remain committed to doing all we can to help alleviate the burden on people in Wales. Last year during Carers Week I announced £4.5 million for the Carers Support Fund. This three-year programme aims to support unpaid carers on lower incomes to help alleviate the immediate impact of financial hardship. Since its launch, this fund has helped more than 10,000 carers on low incomes to buy basic essential items. The Fund has also helped to identify a substantial number of carers who were previously unknown to services. In some areas 70% of the applicants were previously unknown carers.

To find out whether the fund may benefit you, please visit Carers Support Fund Wales Programme - Carers Trust (external link).