With the winter months just around the corner, the pressures unpaid carers are facing are about to become even more overwhelming. Their finances are set to be challenged by soaring energy bills, Christmas demands and rising food prices.

Carers UK released their annual report on the kind of struggles caregivers are facing at the moment, showing that 52 per cent of carers who took part in a survey said they felt stressed and anxious when they think about their finances.

On top of this, 34 per cent of carers also said they often or always felt lonely.

The situation in Wiltshire is proving challenging already for many in this position.

Unpaid carer Samantha Evans, who lives near Chippenham and looks after her 12-year-old son, says she feels “lost” in the current state of things.

She devotes much of her time to care for her son who is affected with ASD, ADHD and has been described by doctors as being “at least 10 children in 1”.

Samantha has had to help him wash, dress and protect him from any potential safety hazards.

She noted: “He’s got no danger perception at all. He has to be watched constantly. A neurotypical 12-year-old can go and play at the park. He is a constant danger to himself.”

While doing so, Samantha has suffered from poor health herself after a tumour was found in her neck two years ago and she underwent two spine surgeries.

She said: “Still to this day it’s so difficult to get the balance right for everything. He’s had to be around for all of it.”

Now, while carers are still experiencing the aftermath of the lockdowns, Samantha is already concerned about what their future will look like in the short, as well as long term.

She added: “Obviously with Covid and everything else it kind of shut everything down, and we were just kind of pushed to the side, and we’ve muddled our way through.”

Carer Support Wiltshire said: “Traditional winter pressures for unpaid carers include loneliness, poor health and hospital admissions and discharges. But 2021 will be an exceptional winter for different reasons.

“Carers are feeling depleted from muddling through the pandemic, before winter even gets started."

The charity offers a ‘Here to Talk’ service to carers in the county. To find out more, you can visit their website: carersupportwiltshire.co.uk