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Carers Trust Wales helps over 11,000 unpaid carers to have a short

Carers and their families enjoy activities like cookery classes and pantomime trips with Carers Trust North Wales Crossroads Care Services

Carers Trust Wales has helped over 11,000 unpaid carers in Wales to take a short break from their caring responsibilities. Thanks to funding from Welsh Government, it has awarded nearly £2 million to charities and Third Sector organisations across Wales to deliver a range of activities through the Short Breaks Scheme.

The scheme, which runs until 2025, provides an opportunity for unpaid carers from diverse communities across Wales to have a short break away from their caring role. It offers personalised and flexible break options, including overnight breaks, group activities and small grants. It gives unpaid carers the much-needed opportunity to enjoy some time for themselves and to focus on their own mental, emotional and physical health.

Kate Cubbage, Director Carers Trust Wales, says, “There are over 310,000 unpaid carers in Wales, over 8,000 of whom are under 18 years old. The Short Breaks Scheme provides vital respite to those facing the challenges of being an unpaid carer. Thanks to Welsh Government funding, and together with local carer organisations  across Wales, we are pleased to be able to create opportunities for unpaid carers of all ages to access much-needed breaks.”

The scheme has so many benefits for carers, from reducing isolation and frustration, to forming positive connections and friendships with others who are in the same situation.

One of the scheme’s delivery partners, Ray of Light Cancer Support, says, “To have a funded overnight stay can often stop a potential breakdown. Our breaks provide much needed respite, allowing carers and those they care for, time to relax and recharge. They help to build resilience, strengthen bonds and make happy memories. Sometimes, a simple day out can make all the difference in a carers journey.”

Welsh Government Minister for Social Care, Dawn Bowden, said, “I am very pleased to see more than 11,000 unpaid carers have benefitted from this part of our Short Breaks Scheme, which is managed by Carers Trust Wales.

“We have invested £9m over three years in a national scheme, which also includes additional funding to local authorities and health boards. By March 2025, we aim to have funded an additional 30,000 short breaks to unpaid carers.

“We are committed to doing all we can to support unpaid carers across Wales to have the opportunity to take a break from their caring roles to maintain their wellbeing and a life outside their caring role.”

Carers Trust Wales has recently launched a new website to help unpaid carers find a break in their area (www.shortbreaksscheme.wales).  It also highlights stories from carers who are already benefiting from the scheme.