Further Details Of Scheme To Support Unpaid Carers Released

Further details of a £4.4million scheme to support unpaid carers has been released.

The grant scheme, entitled the Support for Carers Fund, will be administered and managed by Community Foundation NI and will be open to community and voluntary sector organisations with charitable purposes offering support to carers and operating within Northern Ireland.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: "I am delighted to announce £4.4m which will provide support for charities working for and with unpaid carers in recognition of the significant impact that Covid-19 has had on them and those they care for. Unpaid carers are the backbone of society, supporting and caring for many that may otherwise struggle without that help.

"The role of unpaid carers can often go unrecognised and this funding will provide much needed help and support at a time when many have increased their caring role during the Covid-19 pandemic. I am full of admiration for carers and their tremendous dedication. They make many sacrifices and it's right that they should be given our support and thanks for all they do."

The allocation has been funded from one-off Covid emergency monies made available to the Department of Health.

The Support for Carers Fund will seek to deliver the following outcomes:

• Enhanced provision of and access to practical supports and help for carers

• Improved access to and availability of advice services for carers, including support available through new technologies

• Enhanced skills of carers to advocate for the needs of both themselves and the person they care for

• Support for improved physical and mental health and wellbeing of carers

• Enhanced ability for carers to lead their own lives and enjoy a work/life balance

• Increased capacity to advocate for and advance carers' issues with Government and statutory bodies

• Raised awareness of the contribution of carers

• Improved evidence base on carers to support and inform service provision, and Government strategy.

The Community Foundation will engage with carers and those working at the community level to ensure funding reaches the areas of need in Northern Ireland. The fund is expected to formally open within the next few months through the Community Foundation website.

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