Caring Through Covid Fund


The Scottish Government has invested funding in local carer centres to increase support for unpaid carers of all ages, helping them to take a break from caring and access other much-needed help. This recognises some of the challenges faced by unpaid carers, with many regular sources of support having stopped or moved online due to the pandemic. It also comes in response to concerns about increasing pressure on carers – particularly while many traditional respite breaks are restricted or unavailable.

Carers in Lanarkshire can apply for up to £300 towards the cost of a short break from caring and are encouraged to think creatively in relation to short break opportunities that can be taken in line with the current public health advice, local and national restrictions. If successful, payment will be made by Lanarkshire Carers via BACS payment to the carer by Wednesday 17 March 2021 to cover the cost of the item or activity you have requested. Successful applicants will be required spend the funding as soon as it is received in order to benefit from the item or activity as soon as possible.


How to apply

Due to unprecedented demand, Lanarkshire Carers Caring Through Covid Fund is now closed for new applications. If you require information, advice or support in relation to your caring role, please contact Lanarkshire Carers in the usual ways and we can assist you further.

All applications submitted for this fund by the revised closing date (midday, Saturday 13 February 2021) will be reviewed and considered by the decision-making panel.  Applicants will be informed of the decision made via email by Friday 5 March 2021.  If you have not been informed of a decision by this date, please contact us through the online enquiry form.

To ensure funding is awarded fairly and consistently to as many carers as possible, we may be required to prioritise applications in line with the guidance set out under the eligibility criteria below or award a lesser amount than requested in an application. 

Grant funding is one aspect of our work and we are still here to provide information, advice and support to carers in all the usual ways.


Eligibility Criteria

All applicants must be adult carers (aged 18 and over) living in Lanarkshire who are in a current caring role. If you are a young carer (under 18 or over 18 and still accessing education) please contact our partner organisation Action for Children on 01698 258801 (North Lanarkshire) or 01698 891385 (South Lanarkshire) who will be able to provide you with further information on available grant funding for young carers.

The carer must provide unpaid care to a family member, partner, relative or friend who needs help to manage a long term condition, disability, physical or mental ill health or addiction. 

Please note: this grant fund is not open to foster carers, paid care workers or paid personal assistants. Applications can be considered from kinship carers of children with additional care and support needs.

In addition to assessing applications against the criteria above, the decision-making panel may prioritise applications where:

  • Applicants have not accessed funding towards the cost of a short break from caring recently;
  • Little or no immediate support is available elsewhere currently to assist the carer;
  • The carer finds it difficult to cope and may be unable to continue in their caring role without intervention;
  • The carer can demonstrate that they would otherwise find it difficult, or impossible, to take a break due to financial circumstances;

Types of Breaks

Lanarkshire Carers Caring Through Covid Fund is intended to be responsive to the current needs and challenges faced by carers, assisting them to take a much needed break from caring and helping them to continue to care. Carers are encouraged to think about opportunities they would enjoy doing, that can be taken in line with the current restrictions. Some examples of short break opportunities include (but are not limited to):

  • Arts and craft materials
  • Audio books and equipment
  • Musical equipment and lessons
  • Cooking and baking equipment
  • Exercise equipment and/or virtual personal training sessions
  • Reading materials and/or subscriptions
  • Support sessions from specialist providers
  • TV entertainment passes/subscriptions such as Netflix, Disney+, Now TV etc.
  • Mobile phones
  • Cameras
  • Televisions
  • IT equipment such as iPads, tablets, laptops or PCs
  • Model making kits and equipment
  • Gaming consoles and subscriptions
  • Gardening equipment
  • Takeaway meals
  • Cycling equipment
  • Walking equipment such as shoes, waterproof clothing etc.
  • Power tools

Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about how this fund could be used to provide a break from caring, including regular breaks over an extended period rather than funding a one-off opportunity.

The funding can also be used to pay for joint activities with the person(s) being cared for, but the carer must be able to demonstrate how they will benefit from this opportunity. 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to current restrictions and the intended purpose of this funding we will not be able to consider applications for certain things. This includes overnight breaks away from home, deposit costs, household appliances such as washing machines, fridge freezers, tumble driers etc and items or activities deemed by the decision-making panel as excessive, inappropriate or out with the overall aim of this funding.  We encourage carers to think sensibly and realistically about the support required and if this funding is appropriate. We will consider larger, more expensive purchases on an individual basis as long as sufficient information is provided around how and when additional costs will be met.

Only one application per household and per cared-for person(s) will be considered. The main carer will usually be given priority/first refusal.  


Application and Decision Making Process

Due to unprecedented demand, Lanarkshire Carers Caring Through Covid Fund is now closed for new applications. If you require information, advice or support in relation to your caring role, please contact Lanarkshire Carers in the usual ways and we can assist you further.

Decisions will be made shortly after the application closing date and all applicants will be informed of the decision made by Friday 5 March 2021. Please do not contact Lanarkshire Carers to discuss the progress of your application before this date as we will not be able to advise you further until a decision has been made.  If you have not been informed of a decision by this date, please contact us through the online enquiry form. 

Click here to ask a question using our online enquiry form

If your application is successful, bank details will be requested and payment will be made via BACS transfer to your bank account by Wednesday 17 March 2021. Successful applicants will be required spend the funding as soon as it is received (by the end of March 2021) in order to benefit from the item or activity as soon as possible.

If your application is unsuccessful, you will be informed of the reason(s) why. Due to the short timescales and anticipated high number of applications, we will not be able to consider another application through this fund from carers who are unsuccessful. We will suggest alternative options for you to access the support you require, if available.

You will be required to produce receipts to confirm that you have used the funding as intended. An email will be issued to you within one month after payment has been made to obtain your feedback and to upload copies or photographs of your receipts via an online form. Guidance will be provided to assist you. We are unable to accept copies of receipts in any other format i.e. via post or emailed directly to us. If you do not produce receipts or have not used the funding as intended without prior discussion and approval with us, this may negatively impact your ability to access future funding through Lanarkshire Carers.


Further Information

Please read through the frequently asked questions below, which outline some of the main things that carers have asked us previously relating to grant funding. We will keep this section updated as and when enquiries are made.  If you cannot find the answer to your question, please submit your question via our online equiry form and a member of Lanarkshire Carers Caring Through Covid Fund Support Team will be able to assist you further.

Click here to ask a question using our online enquiry form


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for this grant?

All applicants must be adult carers (aged 18 and over) living in Lanarkshire who are in a current caring role. If you are a young carer (under 18 or over 18 and still accessing education) please contact our partner organisation Action for Children on 01698 258801 (North Lanarkshire) or 01698 891385 (South Lanarkshire) who will be able to provide you with further information on available grant funding for young carers.

The carer must currently provide unpaid care to a family member, partner, relative or friend who needs help to manage a long term condition, disability, physical or mental ill health or addiction

What can I apply for?

Please see the ‘Types of Breaks’ section above for examples of what other carers have applied for previously through similar sources of funding. Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about how this fund could be used to provide a break from caring, including regular breaks over an extended period rather than funding a one-off opportunity. Successful applicants will be required spend the funding as soon as it is received in order to benefit from the item or activity as soon as possible.

Is there anything I cannot apply for?

Due to current local and national restrictions and the intended purpose of this funding we may not be able to consider applications for certain things. This includes overnight breaks away from home, deposit costs, household appliances such as washing machines, fridge freezers, tumble driers etc and items or activities deemed by the decision-making panel as excessive, inappropriate or out with the overall aim of this funding.  We encourage carers to think sensibly and realistically about the support required and if this funding is appropriate.

Why can’t I use the funding to arrange a break away from home?

Due to the current restrictions imposed locally and nationally on travel and accommodation we are unable to consider applications for breaks away from home.

When will I know if my application is successful and receive payment?

Decisions will be made shortly after the application closing date. We will aim to contact both successful and unsuccessful applicants by Friday 5 March 2021. If successful, you will receive confirmation via email. Bank details will be requested from you at this point so payment can be made via BACS transfer. We will aim to process all payments to successful applicants by Wednesday 17 March 2021, providing that payment information has been returned to us.

If successful, when do I need to spend the grant funding by?

Successful applicants will be required spend the funding as soon as it is received (by the end of March 2021) in order to benefit from the item or activity as soon as possible.

Can I arrange a short break opportunity later in the year?

This fund is intended for carers who are struggling with the current restrictions and in need of support now. Applications for items or activities to be taken at a later date will not be accepted. We will however consider applications for funding towards the cost of an opportunity that carers can take advantage of immediately and continue to benefit from over an extended period, for example subscriptions to entertainment services or online classes that run over a period of weeks or months. 

Will I be awarded the full amount of funding I have asked for?

We anticipate a high volume of applications for this fund. We will try our best to ensure funding is awarded to as many eligible carers as possible.  If we receive more applications than the funding permits we may be required to prioritise those most in need, award a lesser amount than requested, or direct carers to more appropriate support opportunities if they are available. You will be required to provide an accurate breakdown of costs associated with the short break opportunity you detail on your application form. Carers are encouraged to consider the most practical, cost effective use of this grant to support them in their caring role at this time. You will also be asked as part of the application process to provide details of how you would use a smaller grant award if we could not award the full amount requested.

Can I use this funding to help pay for things for the person(s) I care for?

The funding is intended to assist you as the carer. Applications will be considered for items or activities that both you and the person(s) you care for can jointly benefit from, but you (the carer) must be able to demonstrate how you will benefit from this opportunity directly. 

The person I care for lives in Lanarkshire but I live elsewhere. Can I apply?

This fund is only available to unpaid carers who live in North and South Lanarkshire. Please contact the carers centre in the local authority area where you live and they will be able to advise you of what support is available to you.

If I am unsuccessful can I apply again for something else?

Due to the short timescales involved and anticipated high number of applications, we will not be able to consider another application through this fund from carers who are unsuccessful. We will specify the reason(s) why your application is unsuccessful and will suggest alternative options for you to access the support you require, if available.

Can I use the funding to pay for something I have purchased already?

You cannot use this funding to cover the cost of things you have purchased already. You will be required to produce receipts to prove that you have used the award as intended.

We advise all applicants not to commit to any purchase until we have advised that your application is successful and the funding has been received in your nominated bank account. Lanarkshire Carers will not be held liable for any loss incurred by you as a result of making a purchase without the funding available to cover the cost.

If the item or activity I apply for is no longer available at time of purchase or no longer possible due to a change in circumstances, do I need to give the money back?

We understand that circumstances can sometimes change for reasons out with your control.  If you are unable to use the funding received for the item or activity you originally applied for, please contact us and we will work with you to look at suitable alternative options for you.

Page last updated: 10 February 2021

Page image produced using royalty free images from freepik.com

People photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com, House photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com, Tree photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com, Flower photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com
Food photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com, House photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com