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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Caring for our unpaid carers

The Victorian Government has promised $2.6 million in support initiatives for unpaid carers who selflessly support their loved ones.

Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers James Merlino announced the funding as part of Carers Week, which runs from October 10-16.

“Carers do such an incredible job caring for loved ones and it’s critical they get the support and downtime they need to keep themselves well,” the Minister said.

“Whether it’s a morning tea, exercise or peer support services, these initiatives will make a real difference in the
lives of our dedicated carers once we start to open up safely.”

Across Victoria, more than 726,000 carers give their time and effort to look after a family member or friend who needs them, whether due to chronic disease, mental illness, disability or old age.

Fifty-six organisations will receive grants totalling $1.75 million through the Supporting Carers Locally Grants
Program. The grants will help carers access peer support, community support programs and other tailored
resourcessupporting their physical and mental health, and help them connect with family, friends and other carers.

“These programs will provide carers the opportunity to reconnect both online and face-to-face after a challenging
18 months,” said Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers, Anthony Carbines.

Additionally, five organisations will share in $917,000 through the Statewide Partnership Grants Program, which
will support partnerships between carer organisations and other community support organisations to deliver
innovative projects that benefit carers across the state.

The five recipient organisations are Little Dreamers, Different Journeys, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria,
Financial Counselling Victoria and Tandem.

Autism support organisation Different Journeys will use the funding to expand their peer support dinners and
provide individual peer support to help connect carers with education and employment opportunities – on top of
popular activities like swim sessions, bowls nights and community games nights.

Respite is also available to carers through the Support for Carers program, which is accessible during lockdown.

The full list of Supporting Carers Locally Grants Program recipients can be found at: vic.gov.au/grants-benefit-carersand-support-their-wellbeing.

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