This study assesses the social, economic, emotional and relational impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on unpaid carers, and considers how such carers can be better supported throughout pandemic conditions and into the future in Wales


Unpaid carers, people who provide support and care for ill or disabled family members or friends, are often referred to as a ‘hidden army’ of care staff essential to the functioning of public services. With the nature of their financial resource and support highly dependent on personal and Local Authority circumstances, unpaid carers often experience significant financial and social disadvantage under normal conditions, placing a strain on their mental and physical health. They are often highly reliant on local support and temporary care provision to enable them to focus on their own wellbeing alongside that of the person or people they care for. As such, this group have experienced additional negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, with the withdrawal or heavy restriction of much of this support provision, alongside the limitations of potential activities to attend and, occasionally, additional financial impact from furlough or redundancy. This study is conducting in-depth qualitative semi-structured interviews with forty unpaid carers in Wales from a variety of backgrounds, circumstances, and localities to understand their individual narratives and experiences both before and during the pandemic. Our findings form part of a range of studies that will inform the strategy for unpaid carer support in Wales, currently under development.

Activities and Methods

Qualitative semi-structured interviews



Lead Person

Principal InvestigatorDr Dan Burrows

Academic Staff

Research AssociateDr Jen Lyttleton-Smith
PHD Student Lucy Sheehan
Lecturer Dr Sion Jones
Related SchoolsSchool of Social Sciences
Related partnersCarers Trust Wales
FundersPublic Health Wales