A fund of £200,000 is being made available to carers in Manchester who need additional support as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The efforts of unpaid carers to support the most vulnerable members of society are more important than ever due to recent upheaval of everyday life. However it has been recognised that due to the negative impact of social distancing and the economic effects of the nationwide lockdown there is a risk of unpaid carers being disproportionately affected as a result.
Jobs and livelihoods have been hugely impacted by the pandemic, which is why Manchester City Council and Manchester Health and Care Commissioning have taken steps to ensure that unpaid carers are not suffering financially as a consequence.
A fund of £200,000 will be made available for unpaid carers to apply for. It will be open for carers to ensure the ongoing health and wellbeing of both the carer and the person who needs care. This includes those households where a child of young person is the carer.
It can be used for a range of purposes including transport costs (including taxis) or fuel, furniture, emergency delivery of food and one-off practical costs to help with the caring role at this time.
Carers can receive advice about accessing this financial support from Manchester Carers Centre or their Young Carers Coordinator. Advice is also available on the Council's website under benefits and support. The emergency fund for carers is administered through the Council's Welfare Provision Scheme.
Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing, said: “Unpaid Carers are so often the hidden heroes in our society we felt it was essential that we did everything in our power to support them at this time. We know there are at least 60,000 unpaid carers in Manchester who work day and night to take care of vulnerable friends and family members, and that this crisis has particularly hit them hard.
“We will hopefully soon see the end of this incredibly difficult period but until that happens we want unpaid carers to know that we are here to help.”
Shirley Devine, Chief Executive of Manchester Carers Centre, which offers unpaid carers a vital helpline during this challenging time, said: “Carers ring us in desperate need for some very basic items with nowhere to turn to. We do our best to help but sometimes we can help carers in a coordinated way. This fund for unpaid carers is fantastic, it will be great for my staff and members of the Manchester Carers Network to support vulnerable carers with their applications and just signpost Carers to the Council website if they are able to complete the application forms themselves.
There is a real need for financial support for unpaid Carers and it is brilliant to see Manchester City Council and partners come together to ensure Carers are supported across a range of areas.”
How to apply for help:
Manchester Carers Centre helpline is open for carers Mondays to Thursdays, 9am to 4.30pm on 0161 272 7270.
Alternatively carers can email email@example.com.