The Isle of Wight Council is to thank over 3,400 local carers for their dedication and commitment during the pandemic by giving them a one-off bonus of £250, in the form of a Wight Gift Card.
The local care and support workers are to be given Wight Gift Cards which they can use at any of 105 businesses and retailers on the Island.
The Wight Gift Card scheme was launched by the Isle of Wight Council in 2020 and was chosen as the best way to get money directly to local carers.
With over £850,000 in rewards given to carers over the next few weeks, this gesture of gratitude will also provide much-needed support for Island shops and other firms recovering from 2 years of COVID-19 restrictions.
The funding for this scheme has come from the government’s Recruitment and Retention Workforce Grant, which can only be spent on supporting the local social care workforce.
Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox explains:
“Over the last two years, we all know that many care staff have worked with extraordinary dedication, often in very difficult and challenging conditions, to give their clients the care, dignity and support that they need.
“The pandemic has hit the care sector hard, and just at the time when we need these skilled and dedicated staff the most, there has been a care staffing challenge across the country, including here on the Isle of Wight.
“It is with gratitude that we will be passing this part of the government’s Recruitment and Retention Workforce Grant directly on to those hard-working care staff, to thank them for their work, dedication and loyalty through the challenging times faced by the social care sector”.
Councillor Julie Jones-Evans adds:
“I like to think of the Wight Gift Card as our own currency, helping to keep the spend on the island which supports local jobs, businesses and services.”Choosing the Wight Gift Card for our dedicated care and support workers is a good way of enhancing the value of their well-deserved bonus.
“If your business wants to accept the Wight Gift Card it is really easy, email [email protected] to get started.
Article continues below this advertisement
“Using a gift card is even easier, it works like a debit card in store or online.
“I hope that Isle of Wight care workers will find this gesture a helpful one, and a meaningful way for the Island community to say thank you for their vital work.”
UPDATE – An Isle of Wight Council spokesman said:
“Local care and support workers employed in Care Quality Commission registered services over last winter will be eligible for a £250 Wight Gift Card from the Isle of Wight Council.
“Regrettably due to the funding conditions imposed by central government we cannot extend this offer to non-CQC registered provision, or to informal care and support workers.
“For those that are eligible there’s no need to apply – cards will be given out over the next few weeks to everyone who qualifies for them.
“We would like to acknowledge all those who have supported and cared for those most vulnerable people within our community,
“We recognise and thank those people who continue to provide unpaid support for their families and loved ones.”