Carers to be awarded with a one-off cash boost

Carers in Edinburgh are being offered a one-off cash payment of £250.

The Carer Support Payments from the City of Edinburgh Council are a way to acknowledge the invaluable support unpaid carers give.

Carers who provide substantial and regular unpaid support and meet the criteria can use the payment to spend on themselves and improve their health and wellbeing, or to provide a short break from caring.

The funding has come from an extra £200,000 set aside by the Council this year to help carers and has been made available after similar payments were awarded last year.

Recent Census figures show that Edinburgh had 37,859 carers (7.9% of the population) of which 8,000 provided 50+ unpaid caring hours per week.

One of last year's recipients, Michael Conroy from Craigmillar, used the bonus to visit family in Dublin. He is a full-time carer for his wife, Georgina, who suffers from MS.

Mr Conroy said: "The money was very useful and is a great idea, because when you get a payment like this then it shows that you are being remembered. It makes you realise that people understand your situation and are trying to help."

The Council consulted with carers on how they felt the money should be distributed.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Convener of Health and Wellbeing, said: “Carers provide essential, quality are but they can become overwhelmed with their responsibilities and this can often lead to stress, anxiety or ill health.

“It’s important to provide carers with the support they need and these payments are a small way of telling them that they are very much valued and respected. We have listened to what they have said and we hope these ideas will ensure we can continue to help carers carry out their roles.”

To apply for a Carer Support Payment please contact Social Care Direct on 0131 200 2336.

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