Carers are set to benefit from new grants for local initiatives that support their health and wellbeing as well as a range of transport and business discounts.

There are more than 736,600 Victorian carers who give their time, effort and love to caring for a family member or friend who needs them. But many carers find it hard to access the services and support they need – and often don’t identify themselves as carers.

Minister for Disability Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan launched the Supporting carers locally grants at the first Victorian carer forum with Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers Anthony Carbines.

More than 75 people attended the forum which focused on the implementation of the Victorian carer strategy, including carers and representatives from Carers Victoria, Little Dreamers and Tandem.

Supporting carers locally grants

New grants of up to $20,000 are available to support local activities or groups that strengthen the health and wellbeing of carers. The grants will help carers connect and support those that may feel isolated or under-recognised, such as people in regional areas, young carers or LGBTI carers. For more information, see Supporting carers locally grants program page on the Health.vic website.

Respite for carers

For thousands of Victorians, caring is a 24/7 job. Respite is available to help give carers a break and a chance to relax or take part in other activities.

The Victorian Government has committed $42 million in the 2019/20 Victorian Budget to support an extra 100,000 hours of respite for 5000 carers a year over the next four years.

Respite can be flexible to suit the needs of the carer and person being cared for. To find out more about respite in your area call 1800 514 845 or you can look up your local Victorian Support for Carers Program provider on the Better Health Channel.

Public transport concessions and business discounts

Victorian carer cardholders can now travel on public transport on a concession fare. This gives cardholders half price public transport on weekdays and free travel during Carers Week from 13 to 19 October.

This is in addition to the free travel in two consecutive zones on weekends that carers are currently entitled to. Passengers who currently travel on full fare carers card can collect a concession carers card at any staffed ticketing window.  For more information, see the Public Transport Victoria website.

Victorian carer card holders can also now access Seniors card business discounts. For more information, see the Discount directory on the Seniors online website. 

For more information about the carer card, see the Carer Card Program website.

Person-centred services and care