Short breaks fund launched for unpaid carers in Wales

The Welsh government has announced a £9m short breaks fund for unpaid carers of all ages.

The scheme, which is being funded for the next three years, will increase opportunities for unpaid carers to take a break from their caring role.

It will support unpaid carers in Wales to enjoy regular periods away from their caring responsibilities, in an effort to prevent burnout and boost their mental and physical wellbeing. 

A short break can allow carers to take part in hobbies or activities, or take a trip away from home with family or friends – or spend time with the person they support and care for.

person holding white ceramic mug with brown liquid

Throughout the last two years of the pandemic many carers have struggled to take breaks to help them cope with the pressures of their caring responsibilities.

Restrictions during lockdown have limited where they can go and what they can do, and also meant carers were unable to access support from family and friends, leading to further fatigue and, in some cases, pushing them near to breaking point.

A survey of more than 700 unpaid carers found seven in ten carers have been unable to take any breaks since March last year. Another survey of 1,500 unpaid carers found more than half had to give up on hobbies or personal interests because of their caring role.

The new short breaks scheme will be co-ordinated by a third sector organisation working with others across the public and third sector.

Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Social Services, said: ‘I know a lot of unpaid carers have struggled to access short breaks during the pandemic and how this has impacted on them.

‘We’re investing in this respite and breaks scheme as we recognise how important these short breaks are from their caring responsibilities, supporting both their physical and mental wellbeing, and how they can have a positive impact on their lives.

‘We want to make it easier for unpaid carers of all ages across Wales to access a break and by working together we believe this is the most effective way to do so.’

Photo by Malte Helmhold


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