Breaks for Better Caring
A story by BIG(Brain Injury Grampian) Group
We provided 2 Carer breaks, a trip to the theatre for 35 members, and a Christmas Event for 42 members. These events significantly benefited carers and cared for by reducing social isolation, increasing confidence and mental wellbeing.
It allowed them to enjoy well planned events with others whose lives have been similarly compromised by Brain Injury either as an Acquired Brain Injury sufferer or an unpaid/family carer.
What Breaks for Better Caring did
The original grant was for one of the carers weekends to be specifically for male carers. Despite significant efforts it did not prove possible to host this event. The accommodation was booked and planned but withdrawals meant the event would only have had 1 attendee.
The funds were utilised to part fund a further Lady Carers Weekend. The weekends were held At Craigalvah, Banff and Piperdam, Dundee 9 +10 members. Christmas Event for 42 members, Theatre trip for 35 members. Attendees at all functions were from our members per monthly newsletter.
She learned of BIG Group and describes this as "a lifesaver". She got great help from the other ladies on her 1st carers weekend and now attends BIG Group events wherever possible. I!" says it gave her the strength to carry on! "I" is now very active in BIG Group helping others and involved in organising breaks as she knows the huge benefit that it was to her.
Alan’s brother Ian had to go to Canada to repatriate Alan after reports of a lack of care and mismanagement of his finances. On his return to the UK Alan initially was very confused and struggled to understand what had happened to him. He wondered "why me"
Alan became actively involved with BIG Group and this involvement has hugely boosted his self confidence and assisted him to overcome his wariness/fear of social situations. This confidence helps him come to terms with his disability and allowed him to maximise the potential which life still holds for him.
Now, always smiling Alan attends almost all of the BIG Group events and despite the challenges that life has presented him with he has a very positive outlook on life. By Alan's involvement with BIG Ian is able to enjoy social outings with his brother and on occasion have some time out, secure in the knowledge that Alan is safe with the others at BIG Group events.
Having felt very isolated and unsure for some time "D" & "T" are now becoming more involved with BIG Group. "T" loves bowling and "D" likes being around people that she is comfortable with and musicals at the theatre. "T"& "D" are regulars now at our bowling/Christmas and theatre events and "D" hopes to attend the next carers weekend (respite issues have meant that this was not possible before).
"D" says that "without BIG Group we would not get out anywhere."
What BIG(Brain Injury Grampian) Group has learnedThe funds provided are invaluable to our small charity. We have to raise approx £18,000 annually to fund our social support programme for members. We have no committed regular funding so the grant goes a good way towards this. Without this assistance we would have to cut back on our programme.
Having failed again to deliver a Male Carers weekend we now realise that this activity is not as attractive to our male carers as it is to our female carers. However we have noticed an increase in male carer involvement in other events which is pleasing as these are less likely to engage.
By building on our programme and becoming more visible (talks, NHS meetings etc) we have seen a rise in members and enquiries. We will continue to spread the word!