All care workers in Wales are being offered a digital recognition card that identifies them as key workers and gives them access to money-saving offers.
The Care Worker Card is the next version of a similar card launched last year to help support care workers as they faced personal and professional challenges from the pandemic.
The previous card will no longer be valid from May 1, 2021.
In response to feedback from users of the first card, Social Care Wales has arranged for cardholders to benefit from a cashback card, as well as retail offers, through dedicated discounts provider, Discounts for Carers.
Cardholders will also have access to preferential shopping arrangements at certain supermarkets where those still apply. They will also be updated on resources, such as mobile applications, that can be used to help them maintain their physical and mental well-being.
The new card will offer the benefits to social care and childcare, play and early years workers in Wales, whether or not they are registered with Social Care Wales.
The Care Worker Card will be in a digital format, so care workers can save it into their smartphone wallet. Those without smartphones will also be able to enjoy the same benefits as long as they have an e-mail address and access to the internet.
Sue Evans, chief executive of Social Care Wales, said: “The recognition card we launched last April was hugely appreciated by people working in care in Wales. It recognised them as key workers in the fight against the pandemic and provided some valuable benefits such as preferential shopping arrangements at major supermarkets.
“More than 30,000 care workers downloaded the digital version of the card and many more received physical cards. These initial cards were valid until 30 April 2021. But we did not want the card to be just about the pandemic. Care workers in Wales provide vitally important support for individuals and communities 24/7, and not just in times of crisis like COVID. We want our care workers to continue to be recognised and valued for the fantastic work they do day in-day out for us all and our families and friends.
Evans added: “Something like this is particularly important for a sector made up of thousands of different providers. It gives them a sense of identity and some tangible benefits that they might not otherwise have been able to get. E-mails will be going out to the care sector during the next week and the new recognition card will be valid from 1 May. Although the new card will be digital-only, we will be making sure that even those workers without smartphones will still be able to enjoy the benefits that are on offer.”
For more information about the Care Worker Card, click here.