A £5m fund has been set up to invest in innovative ways of supporting unpaid carers, outside of mainstream health and care services.
The Carers Innovation Fund aims to improve support across the country and help build more carer-friendly communities.
Money will be used for projects such as carers’ cafes and short courses to help reduce isolation.
The voluntary sector, charities, SMEs and commercial organisations can all bid for funding to help set up their concept, with the aim of securing longer term finance from other sources.
To secure funding, applicants will need to show their idea offers a fresh approach that will benefit the local community and can be expanded and replicated.
‘This £5m investment will help build our understanding of the kinds of support that work for carers, outside of traditional healthcare services, said Caroline Dinenage, Minister for Care. ‘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, Carers UK chief executive, said: ‘There’s never been a more important time to develop and accelerate new ways to support unpaid carers.
‘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.’