£5m to develop support for unpaid carers

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced a £5 million Carers Innovation Fund to support unpaid carers, outside of mainstream health and care services.

The funding will be used to improve support across the country and help build more carer-friendly communities. Examples of the kind of projects the fund would invest in include: technology platforms, helping carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities, as well as support groups – like carers’ cafes and Men’s Sheds, which develop peer support groups and offer short courses to help reduce isolation.

The voluntary sector, charities, SMEs and commercial organisations can all bid for funding to prove their concept, with the aim of securing longer term funding from other sources. Applicants must demonstrate that their idea is better than existing provision, will benefit the local community and can be expanded and replicated.

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said: “Informal care is a fundamental part of our health and care system, which would not be sustainable without the incredible contribution of carers across the country. But we cannot take them for granted and must do more to protect their wellbeing and ensure they can enjoy full lives. This £5 million investment will help build our understanding of the kinds of support that work for carers, outside of traditional healthcare services. From cafes that bring carers together, to innovative forms of technology that help carers enjoy time off, I want to see a range of exciting projects boosted and their benefits unlocked.”

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