The Welsh Government has set up a new £3m fund to provide respite and short breaks for unpaid carers in Wales.
The fund was announced by the Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan, on Sunday, June 6.
The fund will be split into two phases. Councils will be given £1.75m in the first phase to meet an expected increase in demand for respite services.
The remaining £1.25m will go towards the second phase, which will fund the new short breaks fund, which will cover all of Wales.
According to a survey carried out by the Welsh Government, many unpaid carers said their stress and anxiety levels had increased during the pandemic because they were unable to access respite services or get out of the house for a couple of hours.
Mrs Morgan said the new fund will increase the availability and quality of respite services in Wales.
She said: “The physical and emotional impact of caring can be overwhelming.
“Unpaid carers across Wales play a vital role in our society – and their contribution to the pandemic has been immense, often taking on greater responsibilities with fewer breaks.
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“Respite services can be a lifeline and this new fund will make sure unpaid carers have a short break from their caring responsibilities.
“Unpaid carers are some of society’s unsung heroes and it is essential we help them look after their own health and wellbeing.”
The fund was welcomed by Simon Hatch, who is the director of Carers Trust Wales.
Mr Hatch said the pandemic has had a “significant impact” on unpaid carers.
He added: “Carers have been highlighting for many years that the amount and flexibility of respite care support needs greatly improving.
“This is an important start in developing the respite support which carers in Wales deserve.”
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