What a difference a break makes: a vision for the future of short breaks for unpaid carers in Wales

This roadmap for change has been developed by Diane Seddon, who is based in Bangor University’s Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research, at the School of Medical and Health Sciences, with colleagues from Carers Trust Wales and Swansea University.

Informed by a successful programme of carer research at Bangor, and discussions with key stakeholders across Wales and other UK regions, the report will help to shape the Welsh Government’s next steps in implementing their National Strategy for Unpaid Carers in Wales.

Unpaid carers have long described difficulty in accessing appropriate breaks with or without the person they care for. This has had an adverse effect on the emotional, physical and mental health of unpaid carers. The pandemic has amplified the pressures facing unpaid carers, making access to short breaks more important than ever.

Diane, who is a member of the Welsh Government’s Ministerial Advisory Group for Carers, and the UK Short Breaks Research and Practice Development Group, said: “Welsh Government are investing £3 million to improve and diversify breaks for unpaid carers.  This report sets out an ambitious vision for bespoke short breaks. It outlines key principles to inform future short break options and what they might look like in practice. Alongside this, the report calls for four key actions to be taken:

  • The development of National and Regional Short Breaks Statements
  • The creation of a National Short Breaks Information and Guidance Hub
  • A National Respitality Initiative for Wales
  • A National Short Breaks Fund.”

Simon Hatch, Director of Carers Trust Wales, said: “Many unpaid carers have been caring throughout the pandemic with no opportunities to take a break from their caring role. As restrictions begin to ease many will need support to access a break and it is important that we take this opportunity to deliver the breaks that best meet unpaid carers’ individual needs.  We will continue to work with the Welsh Government and the Ministerial Advisory Group for Carers to identify opportunities to take forward the report’s recommendations at pace.”

Read the report:


For further information about ageing and dementia research and teaching at Bangor University, please visit:


For further information about the Wales Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research, please visit:


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Publication date: 29 September 2021