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 care for a partner, 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 as carers.

Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan launched the new grants for carer groups at the first Annual Victorian Carers 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, Tandem and other carer support organisations.

Supporting carers locally grants

New grants of up to $20,000 for groups of carers 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. To find out more visit the Victorian Carers page on Health.vic.

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 in October each year.

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.  You can find out more on the PTV website.

Victorian Carer card holders can also now access Seniors card business discounts. The Seniors card has been expanded to incorporate the Carer Card program. To find out more, visit the Seniors Online website.

If you would like to find out more about the carer card visit the Carer card website.