Big Days Out!
A story by Edinburgh Young Carers
We provided Big Days Out (full days of respite) for Young Carers aged 5-21 so they could have a break from their caring responsibilities.
These trips were chosen by the young people and were activities that they would not normally be able to access due to transport, supervision or cost.
What Big Days Out! did
10 Big Days Out providing full days of respite (5 hours or more). The Big Days Out included the following, East Links Farm, Blairdrummond (Family Trip), Zoo trip,
Blackpool, Edinburgh Fringe performances, Edinburgh Fringe performance and Bia Bistrot, Bushcraft and Slava's Snow Show.
124 young carers took part in the trips. Due to the kindness and generosity of most places we delivered more than planned due to free tickets and discounted tickets. particularly for the Edinburgh Fringe.
19 young carers (13 girls and 6 boys) had an early start as they got the coach for their day trip to Blackpool. The early start meant everybody was rather sleepy to begin with but as we got nearer to Blackpool the excitement rose and when we got there the young carers leapt off the bus to enter the Blackpool Pleasure Beach theme park.
The group consisted of young carers between the age of 12 and 17 years old. The older group headed off for the thrill seeking rides, the Big Dipper, Steeplechase and Revolution with the younger ones finding their feet in the slightly calmer Niclelodeon Land with Krusty Krab Order Up, the Blue Flyer and Avatar Airbender popular rides. The young carers were so excited and many of them went on the same ride multiple times.
They loved every minute of it and the comments on the bus back were interesting with many of them commenting on how they had 'not thought about home once' and how they would like to go again and would even want to do their own fundraising to make this happen.
The trip to Blackpool although only for one day was from the feedback of the young carers one of the most successful outings we have ever organised. It allowed the young carers to get totally caught up in the fun and thrill of the day providing quality respite.
The feedback from the people cared for was also positive, they were delighted that their young carers had the opportunity to have fun and to enjoy being carefree children and young people even if it was for only one day.
A group of 9 to 12 year old young carers went to 2 shows one before lunch and one after. They particularly enjoyed the Noise Next Door at the Gilded Balloon. It was a lovely sunny day so picnic lunches were purchased from the Social Bite and enjoyed on the Meadows, sunbathing and watching the world go by.
A group of 5 to 10 year old's were treated to a very special lunch put on by Bia Bistrot. They really pulled out all the stops making special menus for the young carers and making a big fuss over them. After lunch the children enjoyed a show called the Comedy Round Up.
Jenny has really enjoyed taking part in the Big Days Out knowing that she will be back home each evening. Big Days Out have provided her with important respite breaks .
For some of our young carers (5 to 9 years old) going on a residential break is too scary for them but they can cope with a day out. Through participating in the days out we hope to help them build their confidence and make friends so that next year they will feel able to participate in a residential break.
Quote from a parent:
‘it’s nice to just come and spend time together without worrying about what is going on at home. It’s giving my brain a break’.
What Edinburgh Young Carers has learnedYoung Carers who do not want or can not experience overnight residentials due to their circumstances really benefited from having a Big Day Out. We were able to plan trips for them that the majority of them had requested. For most of them they were trips which would not normally have been accessible mainly due to the cost. The positive feedback after most of the activities was incredible.
Two of the activities outlined in our application, Time Capsule and Go Ape had extremely high staff ratios due to the nature of the activities. When it came to organising these trips there were not enough staff available for staff to young person ratio. However, we consulted with the young people and suitable alternatives were identified, the Zoo, East Links Farm, Bushcraft and Slava's Snow Show. These trips were chosen by the young people and with the money we were able to deliver 4 trips instead of 2.
We delivered 10 trips and due to free tickets/discounts more young carers could benefit and some young carers were able to attend more than 1 trip. Young carers from different age ranges were able to socialise with each other and we found the older young carers very supportive of the younger ones.
We organised one family trip to Blair Drummond Safari Park. Feedback from the families participating was positive as they enjoyed the quality time offered, the opportunities to meet others, to share experiences and make positive memories together. Young carers who were unable to have long periods of respite i.e going overnight managed to get a full day and where possible were offered more than one Big Day Out. Young carer were given trips/respite that they had requested.