More than 11,000 unpaid carers in Wales have been given a break thanks to a Welsh Government-funded scheme.

Carers Trust Wales has used nearly £2 million in governmental funding to offer short respites to those with unpaid care responsibilities.

These breaks are implemented via charities and third sector organisations throughout Wales under the initiative known as the Short Breaks Scheme.

Running until 2025, the scheme provides personalised and flexible break options such as overnight breaks, group activities, and small grants to unpaid carers from a variety of Welsh communities.

This ensures they can temporarily step back from their caring role and prioritise their own mental, emotional and physical health.

Director of Carers Trust Wales, Kate Cubbage, said: "There are over 310,000 unpaid carers in Wales, over 8,000 of whom are under 18 years old.

"The Short Breaks Scheme provides vital respite to those facing the challenges of being an unpaid carer.

"Thanks to Welsh Government funding, and together with local carer organisations across Wales, we are pleased to be able to create opportunities for unpaid carers of all ages to access much-needed breaks."

Moreover, the scheme has helped reduce feelings of isolation and frustration commonly faced by carers.

It also fosters positive connections and friendships with other carers facing similar situations.

Ray of Light Cancer Support, a delivery partner for the scheme, commented: "To have a funded overnight stay can often stop a potential breakdown.

"Our breaks provide much needed respite, allowing carers and those they care for, time to relax and recharge.

"They help to build resilience, strengthen bonds and make happy memories.

"Sometimes, a simple day out can make all the difference in a carers journey."

The Welsh Government's commitment to unpaid carers was reinforced by minister for social care, Dawn Bowden, who stated: "I am very pleased to see more than 11,000 unpaid carers have benefitted from this part of our Short Breaks Scheme, which is managed by Carers Trust Wales.

"By March 2025, we aim to have funded an additional 30,000 short breaks to unpaid carers."

Carers Trust Wales has also launched a website to help unpaid carers locate suitable breaks in their area and share stories of those who have already benefitted from the scheme.