On marking this year’s Carers’ Week, Torfaen MP Rt Hon Nick Thomas-Symonds has welcomed the Welsh Government announcement of a respite fund of £3m for 2021-22 to increase support for the thousands of unpaid carers across Wales.

The support provided to unpaid carers will be flexible and individual-based, offering a range of person-centred and innovative options, face-to-face support, and short breaks so that unpaid carers have regular time away from their caring responsibilities.

The £3m fund will be split into two phases – £1.75m will be initially allocated to local authorities to match the increasing demand for respite services throughout the easing of Coronavirus restrictions. The second phase will see a Wales-wide rollout of the £1.25m short breaks fund, working with the hospitality sector to provide various types of short breaks for unpaid carers, a funding model which has been designed alongside Carers Trust Wales, and Bangor and Swansea universities.

Welcoming the fund, Mr Thomas-Symonds said: ‘I am delighted that the Welsh Government have announced a new £3m funding to ensure that unpaid carers have access to the respite services they deserve. The pandemic has had a huge impact on unpaid carers, requiring them to take on more responsibilities, and a greater toll on their physical and mental health. It is so important that we take these steps to ensure there is the required support for all unpaid carers across Wales.’

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