Carers boosted by Government cash

CAMBRIDGESHIRE carers are set to benefit from a slice of £25million of Government cash aimed at supporting people who care for elderly or disabled relatives. It is expected an additional £225,000 will be given to Cambridgeshire County Council to fund eme

CAMBRIDGESHIRE carers are set to benefit from a slice of £25million of Government cash aimed at supporting people who care for elderly or disabled relatives.

It is expected an additional £225,000 will be given to Cambridgeshire County Council to fund emergency respite care for people who need a break from caring.

The cash is in addition to the £1.6million the county already receives to support its 9,100 carers.

A spokesman for the council said: "Once the guidelines for use of this funding have been studied we will be in a better position to plan how best it can be used to improve services for more carers in Cambridgeshire."

Dr Helen Brown, chief executive of West Anglia Crossroads Caring for Carers, a St Ives-based charity which is partly funded by CCC, said the extra cash is good news for carers, as services could be extended.

She said: "In Cambridgeshire, West Anglia Crossroads already provides many short breaks for adult carers and families with disabled children and wants to extend its services to include emergency breaks, if funding becomes available."

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However, Christine Saltmarsh, a carer from Alconbury Weston who receives support from Crossroads, said that, while she appreciated the extra money, more should be done.

"More funding must be a good thing as I have had my respite cut back through closure of the day centres. However, ideally I would like to be paid directly for the care I provide, as a permanent respite home would cost much more."

Charities estimate there are about seven million carers in the UK who save the Government about £57billion a year.

INFORMATION: West Anglia Crossroads is the largest provider of care to families of disabled children in Cambridgeshire (excluding CCC). It is financed by CCC, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Primary Care Trusts, South Cambridgeshire District Council and public donations. West Anglia Crossroads can be contacted on 0845 2410954.

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