Department of Health and Social Care
£5 million fund to develop support for unpaid carers
The Carers Innovation Fund will invest in new projects to improve carers’ wellbeing.
The £5 million Carers Innovation Fund will invest in innovative ways of supporting unpaid carers, outside of mainstream health and care services.
This 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 – for example, to help carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities
- support groups – like carers’ cafes and Men’s Sheds, which develop peer support groups and offer short courses to help reduce isolation
Projects will be expected to show a positive effect on:
- carers’ health and wellbeing
- carers’ ability to manage work alongside caring responsibilities
- carers’ ability to take a break from their caring role
- reducing loneliness and social isolation
Applicants will need to demonstrate their idea is a fresh approach that is better than existing provision, will benefit the local community and can be expanded and replicated.
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.
Carers and other experts will sit on the evaluation panel to make sure proposals are feasible.
The fund was first announced last year as part of the Carers Action Plan, a cross-government programme of targeted work to support unpaid carers over the next 2 years. Initially the fund was worth half a million pounds. However, funding was later increased to £5 million.
The NHS is also working to better identify and support carers across England, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage, yesterday 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.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, yesterday said:
There’s never been a more important time to develop and accelerate new ways to support unpaid carers.
Many more of us are taking on unpaid caring responsibilities for family and friends, often alongside paid work or raising children. We are also seeing the amount and complexity of care increasing.
As we live and work longer, with technology transforming so many aspects of our lives, it’s time to innovate to support the way families are living today.
Latest News from
Department of Health and Social Care
Reinvigorating our system for international health27/01/2021 10:10:10
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock yesterday set out his priorities for the UK’s G7 presidency.
Health and Social Care Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 25 January 202126/01/2021 16:10:00
Speech given yesterday by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock at the Downing Street coronavirus briefing.
UK to support rest of the world to find COVID-19 virus variants26/01/2021 14:10:10
The UK will offer its world-leading genomics expertise to identify new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 to countries who do not have the resources to do so.
More employers sign up to rapid testing to protect workforce26/01/2021 10:10:10
Dozens of public and private sector employers are now offering rapid testing to those without symptoms.
Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance on the new variant of COVID-19 in the UK25/01/2021 16:10:00
Government Chief Science Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance comments on the new variant of COVID-19.
Community Champions to give COVID-19 vaccine advice and boost take up25/01/2021 12:12:00
Over £23 million funding allocated to 60 councils and voluntary groups across England to expand work to support those most at risk from COVID-19 and boost vaccine take up.
Winners announced of £7.6 million fund to help give babies the best start in life25/01/2021 10:10:10
New Health and Wellbeing Fund will support 19 projects to reduce health inequalities among new mothers and babies.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam opinion piece in The Sunday Telegraph25/01/2021 08:10:00
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam highlights the importance of continuing to follow the guidance, even after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.
NHS Test and Trace meets new year surge in demand with faster turnaround times22/01/2021 10:10:10
85% of in-person test results were returned the next day after the test was taken, compared with 63% the week before.