Carers make an invaluable difference to the friends, family and loved ones that they support, and they are vital partners in the continued functioning of our health and social care system.

However, carers’ own health and wellbeing often gets neglected as they focus on other people’s needs to the detriment of their own. They also experience challenges in balancing employment or education with their caring responsibilities.

I am therefore pleased that the Government have now committed a £5 million investment into a pioneering new Carers Innovation Fund. This investment will help build our understanding of the kinds of support that work for carers, outside of traditional healthcare services. From community-based schemes that help to bring carers together to innovative forms of technology that help carers to be able to take a break, we want to unlock the benefits of range of exciting projects.

Information about the Fund and the application process is available online: There is still a few weeks for organisations to come forward with their initial proposals to access the fund. This new Fund will go a long way towards driving support for carers at a local level to give them access to the help that they need to support them in their caring role.