Manchester City Council has agreed to top up the hardship funding after £101k was distributed to the city’s unpaid carers last year alone as part of the Covid-19 emergency response.
There are an estimated 60,000 carers in the city who are unable to claim a wage for their caring responsibilities who will be able to access a further £100k in funding.
The hardship fund can be used for a range of purposes, such as transport costs or fuel, furniture, emergency food deliveries, and one-off practical costs to help with their caring role.
Last year, a large portion of the funding was used to help residents to access their own white goods to provide the facilities to wash clothes at home – and beds and bedding also represented a significant portion of the help requested.
Find testimonials from carers who have been supported by the fund in the notes to editors section below.
How to access the fund:
Carers Manchester Contact Point
0161 543 8000
In the past two years, £1.703m has been invested into a new Carer’s Pathways, including the £200k that has been provided this year and last in the Carer’s Hardship Fund.
The Carers Pathway was launched in November 2020 and has brought together a range of support, information and advice under a single umbrella for the first time.
This support includes a dedicated carers helpline, access to a network of 18 carer organisations, as well as enhanced support for carers in their own neighbourhoods for those who need ongoing and longer-term support.
Cllr Bev Craig, Manchester City Council’s executive member for adult health and well-being, said:
“Carers are the unsung heroes of our society. These are the people who put the well-being and health of others before their own and provide a lifeline to those who need their care.
“Being a carer is incredibly tough at any time, but the pandemic has placed an ever-increasing burden on unpaid carers, with many people having to give even more of themselves to make sure the people they look after are safe and well.
“We know that this funding has been so gratefully received in the past year. What might seem like a small token to some – a new washing machine or money for petrol – might make the world of difference to someone in need.
“I’m so pleased that we have been able to top up the hardship fund again this year – and I would urge anyone who needs help to get in touch.”
Dave Williams, Chief Officer of Manchester Carers Forum, said:
“Our work with carers during the pandemic has shown us more clearly than ever that there is a real need for a fund which will continue to support IMMEDIATE relief when needed for carers who are experiencing poverty and associated difficulties i.e., washing machines and other white goods breaking down. These items are essential to maintaining a safe and comfortable home environment in which they can deliver the care that their loved ones rely upon."
Feedback from recipients of the Hardship Fund support:
‘Thanks to CMCP who phoned me and patiently explained all the support for carers like carers assessment, grant. she was very kind; I was able to understand her and the way she explained it all to me. I have lived in the UK for 30 years and after X at MCC told me about the help I can get, she sent me to CMCP where I learned so much. I was worried about my low income and my husband's situation.’
'I cannot thank you enough for the bed this has made a huge difference to not only my health but my ability to care for my mum'
‘I feel like Christmas has come early…I’m so excited to receive my new dryer this week. I was struggling to manage without one, it makes things a little easier.’
‘I’m so thankful for this. It has really helped take some pressure off and it’s one less thing to worry about.’