Dawn Bowden, Welsh Labour’s Member of the Senedd for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, has welcomed the Welsh Labour Government’s announcement that unpaid carers will benefit from a new fund to help buy basic essential items during the cost-of-living crisis.
Carers, who provide care for an adult or disabled child, will be able to apply for grants of up to £300 to pay for food, household items and electronic items. Support services, such as counselling, financial advice, well-being, and peer support will also be available.
It comes as part of a £4.5m Welsh Government investment in the Carers Support Fund over the next three financial years, made up of £1.5m each year.
The funding will support unpaid carers who are experiencing financial hardship due to the cost-of-living crisis and ongoing impact of the pandemic.
Carers can struggle to meet the costs of unpaid caring due to high energy bills to keep their homes warm, the cost of travel to hospital appointments, specialist equipment or dietary requirements.
Welcoming the new fund, Dawn Bowden MS said:
“The Welsh Labour Government recognises that without adequate support, unpaid carers can see their health, finances and careers negatively impacted. During Carer’s Week, we have shown how much we value and appreciate those who care for others, with the launch of a new fund to provide support during the cost-of-living crisis.
“I’m pleased that the Welsh Labour Government will be providing an extra £4.5m to help fund food, household and electronic items for those who care for an adult or disabled child. This will benefit up to 1,500 unpaid carers within Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney alone.
“The physical and emotional impact of caring can be overwhelming – This new fund will provide vital support to those experiencing hardship during this cost-of-living crisis.”
The Carers Support Fund was established in October 2020 with £1m in response to growing evidence that unpaid carers were struggling to cope with the financial impact of the pandemic. Additional funding of £1.4m was allocated the following year, with more than 10,000 unpaid carers on low incomes accessing the fund since it was launched.
The fund will be administered by Carers Trust Wales and their local partners. More information on the application process can be found here: https://carers.org/around-the-uk-our-work-in-wales/carers-support-fund-2022-25.
A three-year fund will aid the Welsh Labour Government’s plans for the reform of social care by protecting and developing services for a vulnerable group.